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Modest Needs keeps people afloat

06 Feb

Modest NeedsBy Cathleen O’Grady

For people living from paycheck to paycheck, the loss of one month’s income due to illness or injury can be financially devastating, especially when the breadwinner of a home is left unable to support her family. Pam, who lives in rural Ohio, was recently on the brink of financial disaster when she was unable to work for a month.

For years, Pam had worked as a housekeeper at an apartment complex, earning a living for herself and supporting her grandchildren. When she eventually lost this job, she maintained an income doing various odd jobs, until she injured her back and was unable to work for a month. During this month, Pam missed a payment on her house – the first in nearly thirty years, and only a few months away from her final payment – which led the mortgage lender to immediately begin the process of foreclosing on her home, despite her decades of reliable payment. Desperate, Pam turned to Modest Needs, our current Poverty and Health beneficiary, who attempted to make the payment of $900 on her behalf, only to find that the entire remaining balance of $2,700 had been made immediately payable in order to stop the foreclosure proceedings.

It was impossible for Pam to pay this balance by herself, and so Modest Needs decided to jump in and rectify a heartbreakingly unjust situation, by raising the $2,700 slowly, in donations as small as $5 at a time. Through the generosity of donors, Pam now owns her house, secure in the knowledge that another blow to her income will not leave her and her grandchildren homeless.

The upheaval caused by Hurricane Sandy has also been disastrous for many people, especially those without a consistent salary. “Susan,” a single mother of two children, one of whom is disabled, works as a personal assistant to support her family. Although they live below the federal poverty line, the family does not receive any state or federal assistance. Susan lost a week’s income when her office was without power for a week. This loss of income left her unable to pay her rent and her family on the verge of losing their home. Thanks to Modest Needs’ Hurricane Relief program, disaster was averted. The difference made to Susan’s life by providing her with some financial security cannot be overstated:

“I want to take this time and thank every single one of the donors that helped me. … It has been hard trying to explain to my children what’s going on and at the same time, keep them safe and secure. This has lifted an incredible burden off my shoulders, and I can sleep a bit better tonight. It hurts becuase I didn’t know how I was going to recuperate from this, and the tears that came down my face when I got the call earlier were happy tears.”

These are just two of many stories of ordinary people helped in times of need by Modest Needs and their donors.

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