Have you ever had to live paycheck to paycheck? Do you know what it’s like to experience what appears to be “small problems of everyday life” but are actually devastating circumstances? Have you had “simple” car problems or medical issues that led you to the edge of a financial crisis? Sadly, and surprisingly, many people find themselves in similar situations such as these – situations in which they need immediate help.
Bob and Nancy, and Marie never expected to be in poverty.
These two families are examples of neighbors within our community who were living “normal” lives when they suddenly found themselves in dire need of food and financial assistance.
Bob and Nancy were both working full-time jobs and saving money to provide for their family. Unfortunately, their financial situation took a turn for the worst when the transmission went out on Bob’s ten-year-old car, and they were faced with the decision to either replace it or buy a new one. Bob and Nancy quickly realized the money they had been working so hard for wouldn’t even begin to cover the expenses of either option. Left with no choice other than to drain their small savings, they found themselves facing an even tougher decision – to buy food or pay their electric bill.
Marie was excitedly expecting her first child – while working two jobs to make ends meet. She had insurance but no paid leave, so she had to be back at work only two short weeks after giving birth to her baby girl. She diligently made plans for childcare through friends and neighbors so she could continue to work, but quickly found herself behind on her bills and rent. Stressed and worried that she and her newborn baby would end up on the street, Marie reached out to everyone she knew for help…but it wasn’t enough.
Both families found help in our community.
Needing support to survive their current, unexpected circumstances, Bob and Nancy, and Marie, found themselves at North Raleigh Ministries. Here they were provided with food and financial assistance and were able to find hope in the midst of their struggles. Bob and Nancy’s electric bill and Marie’s rent were covered by NRM. Shopping at the food market allowed them an opportunity to catch up on their remaining bills. By the grace of God, both families were back on their feet within a few months.
What would you do in the face of adversity?
Take a moment to imagine having to choose between food or electricity for the month – or even between food and rent. What would you do? What choice would you make?
It’s easy to think that you might never reach the point of “poverty” or any situation where you’re faced with that hard of a decision. But the stories of Bob and Nancy, and Marie show us that there are more people living on the edge of poverty than we realize.
You could make a difference in someone else’s life simply by donating food, donating funds or being the helping hand that people in your community need. This kind of support can help bridge the gap for those that may be struggling to afford food for their family or pay their bills and are often overlooked or forgotten.
– Donna Pygott, Executive Director, North Raleigh Ministries
*Names were changed to protect the identity of our neighbors.