It was through a mutual writing friend that I saw a post that inspired me to share a REAL story. At the end of this post is a link to the blog post that inspired me.
In September of 1996, two months before I turned 20, I had a baby. Funny, how at 18 I knew everything, but at 19 I didn’t know shit and was as lost as a Husky in the desert. I lived in the town I do now, with a boyfriend, who was mentally unstable. Ugly circumstances, that I’d rather not disclose here, led me to flee to Tennessee to stay with friends’ of my parents until I got up on my feet. My baby was only a few months old, in need of special (and expensive) formula and I was then 20 and broke.
Shortly after arriving in Tennessee, I had saved some money from substitute teaching and then my tax refund check came. I got my first apartment. I had no cable, no furniture to speak of, just the clothes on our backs and a job paying $300 a week gross. People tried to help, but I was too proud. I could live on Ramen Noodles and Oatmeal as long as my baby had what she needed. A co-worker lent me a couch and gave me a king sized bed she no longer needed because she’d remarried and had all of her stuff rotting away in storage.
I had picked up an old TV along the side of the road. It worked… barely. It was the sort that had the two knobs that you turned to tune the TV and rabbit ears with foil on them.
There were days when I lived without electricity and the baby and I played by candle light. A man that lived in my apartment complex gathered a group of people that watched as I changed my oil in the parking lot, daughter in her carrier next to me (not under the car obviously.)
I came home from work one day, carrying the heavy car seat up the stairs to find my door blocked… by boxes. There were about ten boxes full of baby food, formula, baby clothes and food for me. There was a receipt from the electric company for three months prepaid electric. I sat on my kitchen floor with my daughter and cried. I could not believe the graciousness these people had for the woman they teased as being a “yankee.”
Because I wouldn’t take help – they forced it on me. Honestly, it was help that was badly needed. I wasn’t receiving child support and between rent, electric, gas and all the baby requirements, I was starving.
It was through the graciousness of others that I made it – I survived.
And now, I’ve run into someone in desperate need of help. I ask you to help her in any way you can, even a few bucks… a small donation to help a family in need. You can read her story here. These are not people who are spitting out kids faster than they can collect welfare checks… this is a family working hard, with a sick baby. They need your help.