The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 23, 2012

Job loss stings disabled mom of 2

By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item

NORTHUMBERLAND — When someone says her year has been “rough, rough, rough, rough, rough,” that is one hard time.

This disabled, single mother of two teenage girls lost her job in January, “and no one wants to hire me,” she said. The sharp drop in income means these three must live on her disability payments alone, and they are just not stretching far enough.

“Never in my life have I not been able to support my family,” she said. “Christmas was never a problem, buying food and paying bills never a problem. All of a sudden, here we are. How do people do it?”

Keeping food on the table has been a particular struggle. She recalled a recent night when she realized there was nothing in the house to eat for dinner, “not even a can of vegetables,” she said. “I went to my neighbor’s and said listen, ‘I’ve never asked for anything but I have nothing to feed my family for dinner.’ ”

The neighbor helped.

“It was wonderful,” she said. “This is the best area to live in. Everyone is so gracious and giving, and the one or two you meet that are not, you can’t even remember them.”

That’s how she feels about the Salvation Army and the Needy Family Fund. The Sunbury citadel told this woman about the program and how it could help her and her family.

“The Salvation Army has been very reassuring and supportive,” she said. The fund will help with getting new clothing for the girls, who at 13 and 14 are already tall and still growing.

What’s most striking is not just how grateful this woman is for the support, but how thankful she is for what she does have.

“God has been so good to me,” she said. “I’d have to be the most horrible person in the world not to recognize that. I have friends, loved ones, family, so much support from the agencies, which have all come together and said, ‘This is what we need to do.’ Not once did anyone treat me badly.”

The Needy Family Fund, sponsored by The Daily Item, Sunbury Broadcasting Corp. and Susquehanna Bank, raises money during the holidays to aid the Valley’s less fortunate.

It is administered by Salvation Army citadels in Sunbury and Milton. Donations can also be left with Susquehanna Bank offices in Sunbury, Selinsgrove, Milton, Lewisburg, Shamokin West, Shamokin East, Kulpmont, Mount Carmel and Pillow.

This year’s goal is $75,000.