A few years ago, we found out that one of our parishioners wasn’t going to be able to pay for her last semester of nursing school. Her father was unemployed and their family was just trying to make ends meet. We gladly provided the financial aid she needed to complete her degree.
Because of the assistance from the St. Vincent de Paul Society, she was able to graduate nursing school and get a job. Her family is also in a much better financial situation. As a “thank you” to our society, she paid back the money that we had provided to help her fulfill her dream. While it wasn’t required or requested of her, we can now use that money to continue our mission of helping those in need reach their dreams of living a more stable and fulfilling life.
Walking Together Through Hardship
Three years ago, we were fairly new members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. One of our first clients was a widowed mother with a teenage daughter. When we stepped into the apartment, we were struck by the absence of furniture. Their beds consisted of two airbeds, one in the living room and one in the bedroom. We immediately went to work with the mother, finding out her needs. Then we took her to the St. Vincent Store where she was able to pick out furniture and eventually a box spring and mattress as she has multiple physical issues, one of which is a serious spinal condition. Over the years, the mother has experienced numerous health problems that have resulted in stays in the hospital and nursing home, all the while keeping a positive attitude due to her faith in God. Recently, she has been diagnosed with cancer that, thank God, is treatable.
We have kept in contact with them and assisted them in transportation, donated items from our family and friends, and other countless ways. One of our members has also spent many hours organizing their apartment, working with the mother on budgeting her finances, and providing other assistance, including good solid advice on improving their lives. They now own a car, which allows them to be more independent. We thank God for the opportunity to serve God through them. They are in our prayers daily.
In the past several years, one of my clients has been a middle-aged woman who is divorced and has medical issues while on Medicare. She was not allowed to communicate with her three sons, all special needs, who lived with her ex-husband. Her family from Ohio abandoned her, thinking she was exaggerating her illness. We helped make sure she could get to get to her many doctor appointments, obtain assistance from the township trustee, and pay for the cost of utilities, food vouchers, and medicine.
Recently, she was diagnosed with a very progressive cancer condition and has had many hospital treatment stays. We contacted the Carpenter Sons from St. Vincent’s Parish to build her a wheelchair ramp, install grab bars in the bathroom, and make minor repairs around her home. She has since reconnected with her family and, although she is living each day in pain, offers her suffering to God. I thank the Lord for the privilege to serve one of God’s less fortunate.
A Special Thanksgiving
A friend of a Vincentian contacted us with a special request. Her husband lives at a nursing home because he has Parkinson's and uses a wheelchair. Unable to transport him in his wheelchair to her home for Thanksgiving, she asked if we were able to bring him "home for the holiday." By using our wheelchair accessible Care Van, we were able to bring the gentleman home to see his wife, children, and grandchildren for about 3 hours on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. After the visit, we brought him back to the nursing home. Our Care Van and the generous time of a Vincentian driver were able to help reconnect this family during the time of year when "there's no place like home for the holidays." Christ just knocked at our door!
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Roof Deductible Help
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