Reliable transporation, a little help give seniors new hope

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Sal Dimiceli | August 28, 2013

Dear W.C.,

My wife and I have been married for over 50 years now. We both worked our whole lives. We were always careful with our money and saved a little money for our retirement. We let an investment counselor talk us into letting them invest our savings to get bigger returns. What a terrible mistake. He lost every penny of our savings. Then both my wife and I have been battling health problems for the last two years. The extra expenses have strained our budget beyond anything we could have imagined. We are behind in our utilities and our car broke down five months ago. It has left us stranded several times. The last time it broke down my wife and I had to walk nearly a mile in the freezing cold. We were both sick for two weeks. We are not used to walking that long of a distance, especially in the cold. I thought I was going to lose my dear wife, she got so ill. We have no family or friends to help us. This has added so much stress to our senior years. We are hoping you can help us. Our church told us to write to The Time Is Now to Help.

Stressed Seniors

Dear Readers,

Since this senior couple had disconnected their phone service, due to their inability to pay the bill, I drove to the address provided on their letter. It was a small older cottage that needed work. I began a list on my notepad I always carry to my visits. It is easier for me to go back over my notes later in the day to assess any assistance they may need. This is especially helpful when I am making multiple visits in one day.  

I knocked on the door and after several minutes it was answered by a stooped elderly man. He was very thin. I introduced myself and I saw the slightest smile on his very sad face. He invited me into their little house and I felt like I was transported back to my Grandma's when I was a child. Everything was very aged but neat and clean. The elderly man brought me to the kitchen where his wife was sitting. She wanted to get up but both the husband and I told her to not get up. I could see the pain she was in when she attempted to rise out of her chair.

The elderly woman said, "After our long walk in the freezing rain when our car broke down, I have never been the same." I thought to myself how a middle-aged person would have felt, not used to walking long distances in the freezing rain. Here I was looking at two senior citizens who turned out to be in their late seventies. I asked them why they had not knocked on someone's door to ask for help. They both said, "Oh no, we would have been too embarrassed."

We went over their budget and I could see they lived very frugally. They had lived in the same house for 47 years. They still had a small mortgage, property tax payments, utilities, food, medications and payments for medical expenses. I asked if it was all right to look around. They both looked at each other and said yes. The small cottage of a house only had one bedroom, one bathroom a small living room and tiny kitchen. When I looked in the refrigerator it was nearly empty. I looked through the cabinets finding no food until the last one. I stared at the sparse nourishment and could not turn around to face these two elderly people until I wiped the tears from my eyes. After all these years of helping thousands, it still breaks my heart to find our fellow creations suffering from hunger. The elderly gentleman's letter never even asked for food. When I finally turned to face them the elderly man was standing next to his wife, holding her hand. Both of these fellow creations of God, suffering in poverty, were looking down at the floor. Before I could even say anything, the elderly woman began to cry and said, "We are so ashamed." They come from a very proud generation that finds it hard to ask for help, and going hungry is easier for them than being ashamed by asking for food. 

I walked over and gently took the elderly woman's other hand in mine. I then reached over and hugged both of them together. I told them I needed to call two friends. After talking them into eating some hot food with me I asked what they would like to eat and ordered some food. I knew they would not tell me what they wanted to eat unless I convinced them I was hungry too. After that I ordered food to fill the refrigerator and cabinets. The elderly woman, hearing my calls to two volunteers, began to cry again. To cheer her up I smiled and asked, "What's the matter? Did I forget something?" I hugged her again and she hugged me back this time, still crying. I share that hug with all of you.

I asked if they had any family that could help them. The wife told me they had a son that lived out of state. They rarely saw him and shared that he had struggled with alcohol addiction most his adult life. They could not count on him to provide any help.

The auto repair shop said their 1986 car with over 219,000 miles on it was beyond repair. The husband and I took a walk outside to look at their car. It was the same car they bought new 27 years ago. The extensive repair list did confirm it was not repairable. We went back in the house. I told them we, The Time Is Now to Help, were going to give them a donated car. The car was completely safety tested, repaired and with new tires. This car was going to be theirs. They were in awe as they repeated, thank you, thank you, with tear-filled eyes. I told them all about The Time Is Now to Help being supported by all of "you". At the conclusion they were very thankful to all of "you" and overwhelmed by "your" help. I reviewed their budget and we caught up their utilities and paid some into the future. After a few more visits they were renewed to life as healthy senior citizens.

Together, we will continue to replace the fear, pain and suffering of poverty, with compassion, healing, caring and sharing with our hearts to change lives. God bless you and thank you for helping us achieve good works for those in desperate need.

Health & Happiness, God Bless Everyone, W.C./Sal

New Address: Make checks payable to: The Time Is Now to Help, P.O. Box 1, Lake Geneva, WI 53147. The Time Is Now to Help is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization licensed in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. You will receive a tax deductible, itemized thank you receipt showing exactly what every penny of your donation provided for the poverty stricken.

A Very Special Thank You: Fox Charities, Lakeland Trash Service, Dick & Jean Honeyager, Martin Business Group, Briggs & Stratton Power of Giving, Robert & Sharon Seiser, Jennifer Olomon, Frank & Ann Huml, Michael Glass, Carol Hanke, Gerald & Joyce Byers, Robert & Patricia Davis, Charles & Barbara Taylor, Carolyn May Essel, Louise & Clifford Morris, Victoria Wertz, Milton & Carol Ann Ancevic, Jack Lidbetter, Laurie Holtan, Margarie Egger, John & Lynda Visek, Craig & Ruthann McCue, Mary Willms, George & Lauretta Clettenberg, Rose Mohr, Claudia Garber, Michael Ankenbrandt, Tue. Night Bunco Group in honor of Les & Pauline Malsh, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God loving volunteers of all our caring food pantries, ALL of you who support The Time Is Now to Help donation boxes, and the businesses that allow our donation boxes. Anyone who would like a Time Is Now donation box in your business, please call (262) 249-7000.                                   

Chris Ann's Resale Shop: I will continue to ask Chris Ann's Resale shop for furniture and household necessities to help our poverty stricken fellow Americans. If you have anything you would like to donate please call (262) 348-9088. They are located at 406 Hwy. 120 North, Lake Geneva, WI, in the old Floor Store building across from the Shell gas station and Next Door Pub. "Look for the American Flags."                                                               

We Desperately Need Cars: Please donate a used car to help our fellow American's get to work and other daily necessities. Please visit:     

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