Falling on hard times

In response to the letter by Ken Hinrichs (Voice of the People, Jan. 23) regarding being responsible for our own lives. Well, that has little to do with some circumstances that we were thrust into, and his comments infuriated me.

My husband and I have worked hard since the age of 14. We had three beautiful children and life was good until my spouse went blind one night on patrol because of diabetes he had since the age of 28.

This was totally unexpected, and it has attacked him everywhere, due to his pancreas not working at all. He was 46 when this happened.

We sold our nice home in Hastings and downsized to a small home in Roseland, with a cheaper mortgage.

We went from middle class to poor in short order, and the Bible tells us to reach out and help those less fortunate than us — not to be all about yourself, but be good neighbors and share your food and prosperity with those who are less fortunate.

Thank God I have friends and family and support of the food pantry when my kids have no groceries in the fridge, and the Salvation Army at the holidays.

Who knew we would be living life like this in our late 40s and 50s. I am a caregiver to my husband, I work full-time and I smile and find reason to get up every day.

Shame on you for looping everyone into a group of users, when most of us would be out on the street with no help or assistance and our children would be the ones suffering the most.

Do you think we like asking for help? No. It’s degrading and shameful, but we do because of our children.

I have to fight every year to keep my kids insured and last year Gov. Dave Heineman helped me, because it’s not easy to get assistance.

That’s all I get from the state — insurance for my kids. Thank God for that, because our health care alone breaks us. So do not treat everyone who receives assistance as though we are lazy and don’t work hard. That is a bunch of hooey. We did not do anything to deserve this hardship that continues year to year and a lot of other people don’t, either.

Free handouts? I hope your family never falls on such hard times where it is a choice of filling your car to go to work or to buy milk, bread and cheese this week. Shame on you.

Maybe you need to volunteer at the Salvation Army. Or help people and see kids showing up with holes in their mittens, gloves and shoes.

It would humble you to go make food baskets for the poor by volunteering at your church more often.

Melissa Woodard

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