Alice and her husband, Artha, learned about Sacred Heart Southern Missions several decades ago when their children were small. "Both of our kids went to Holy Family; they got a real good education there," said Alice. "It was a blessing for them and for us."
Like most of the families of the children at Holy Family School, financial hardships are a daily fact of life for Artha and Alice.
"We've struggled all of our lives - heck, we're so poor we don't have tears to cry with," said Alice. Relying on faith, her family always found a way to manage, despite their difficulties--that is, until a few years ago. Alice became ill and was unable to work. The loss of income proved to be too much to overcome. It was all the couple could do to manage their bills when both of them were working. Without Alice's check, they quickly found themselves without electricity or food on the table.
They sought help through several local programs, to no avail. A friend suggested contacting Sacred Heart Southern Missions. Through your giving, we were able to help the family with their electric bill and provided pantry food to get them back on their feet. "Sister was so kind," Alice said. "She really listened to our problems and was such a help to us."
Today, an aging Alice still has many health and mobility concerns. No longer able to work, she seldom leaves her home. Alice doesn't drive or ride; getting in and out of a car is too painful. Her husband Artha, in his mid '70s, though decidedly more mobile, also has a number of health concerns. The couple's ever-growing medical bills have only made everyday life more challenging. Over the past few years, Alice and Artha have relied on our food pantry to help supplement their small Social Security checks. Our social service ministers listen carefully to their concerns and help the couple out where they can. When one of our staff learned that Alice and Artha's floors were buckling and they had plumbing problems in the kitchen and bath, they knew it would present even more health and safety concerns. Their home was quickly added to our repair list.
"When Melissa from the volunteer program called, I was blown away! I couldn't believe that our home was going to be fixed," Alice exclaimed. "We have never had the money to make any kind of repairs. We were just glad to have a roof over our heads."
In late July, volunteers from Virginia arrived to help tackle the myriad of troubles at the couple's house. Our staff led the crew as they repaired cracked floor joists and shored up footings under the house. Leaky pipes were replaced and new fixtures were installed in the kitchen and bathroom. A new coat of paint was the final touch, giving Alice and Artha a safe and healthy home.
Alice and Artha are just some of the many families and individuals we have been able to assist with critical repairs since the beginning of the year. Your consistent giving is a stabilizing factor in the lives of the poor in so many ways. Through your generosity, we are able to restore their homes to livable condition and provide dignity for a lifetime of challenges.