Share the Season Helps Mom Reach Her Goals
Originally published in The Wichita Eagle, 12/29/21
Jamie had one of the worst years imaginable. In November 2020, she lost her mother to COVID-19. Immediately, she and her child had to move out of her mother’s home. Grieving the loss of a parent, she needed to find a new place for her small family to live. The following month her grief and depression caused an extended leave from work. Her employer didn’t offer any medical or family leave benefits. Consequently, they let her go.
In February 2021, she was in an auto accident with a semi-truck. The accident totaled her car and left Jamie injured, requiring multiple surgeries. Even now, she has pain and residual effects from the accident. She did get a replacement vehicle, but it came with car payments—an additional expense she would struggle to cover. It’s not like Jamie’s plate wasn’t already full, either. She has a special needs child that requires trips to Kansas City for treatment once a week. Unfortunately, her child’s father resides in assisted living and cannot offer her transportation or financial support.
Through 2021, Jamie struggled to get back on her feet, but she is a strong, determined woman and won’t let anything stop her. She found a studio apartment just right for her and her child. After healing somewhat from the accident, she attained a new job. She also went back to school and is studying for her Certified Nursing Assistant’s licensure. Her final exam is in January 2022.
Realizing no matter how hard she tried to make ends meet, she knew the extra expense of the car payment would keep her from reaching her goals. Jamie sought assistive resources in the community. She was referred to The Salvation Army’s Share the Season program. She filled out an application online. On her application Jamie wrote, “I just can’t seem to catch up. I feel if I could receive help … I could focus on other things, like buying my son new clothes. He has no pants or shoes or a coat.”
Touched by her situation and sympathetic to her needs, the caseworker reviewed her application. Jamie was eligible for assistance. The Share the Season program assisted her with her car payment easing her mind and allowing her to focus on other needs. The case worker also referred her to the Salvation Army’s Emergency Social Services department. They can help Jamie with apparel for her son and gasoline vouchers to help her get to work. Now Jamie is well on her way to successful independent living.