Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Helping and caring close to home

Normally my posts are about how to give on a budget, but today is something different, something closer to home.

In light of this post, I read this morning about a Food Drive in our area.
I did not know this, but "Florida is ranked fourth in the nation for family hunger in households containing at least one child,”According to Debbi McCarthy, director of development for Feeding America Tampa Bay.
My neighbors (J, Big P, B, and Lil P) have lived next to us for just about a year. Big P does manual labor jobs like construction, or furniture moving. When they moved in, it was just 3 of them and B and my Anth became fast friends.

J was a SAHM, like me, but they were living paycheck to paycheck, but making their bills and all was livable. But soon J discovered she as pregnant and with previous RH factor issues, was scared. Big P ended up losing his job because of an emergency surgery and his Dr refusing to release him to lift more weigh that he was supposed to..

Lil P was born on his due date but not without complications. within 12 hours of birth, he was whisked to a level III NICU with the possibility of a blood transfusion and his parents were distraught to say the least. But after 19 days, he was home for New Years Eve. Big P works off and on and now J has taken to bartending at night to early mornings and then getting B off to school and taking care of lil P all day.

Easter evening, I was saying goodbye to my little brother as my neighbors pulled into their driveway. J was crying, B looked at me with just complete sadness in his eyes..They had argued all the way home, about what most married couples in this economic disaster argue about.. MONEY!

I invited B over for dessert, which he was very happy to accept. J let me know about their fight and that they had been surviving on Food Stamps and now Big P had an ultrasound to determine whether his kidneys were failing. This poor family cannot win.

Why do I tell you these thing about my neighbors.. Here's why.

With my Easter festivities wrapped up and not all of my guests arriving, I had more than enough food to share. After putting leftovers away for hubby, I still had half a ham, half a bag of rolls, 2lbs of potatoes and cookies coming out of my ears.

I asked J if she could graciously help me out by taking some of the food off my hands, I had way too much. Honestly I did. It would have gone bad in my house and ended up in the garbage. Of course she took it [with tears] because it's not the 1st time she has accepted, what she feels is charity, but what I feel is helping.

There are so many families in our own neighborhoods who experience this type of despair. There are children who go hungry every night. Elderly people who have no family, no one to share a meal with.

Hunger among lower income families, even middle class families is so much more prevalent than we all know. If you have a family, and elderly person or couple in your immediate neighborhood, someone you know or don't know, I ask you to extend a helping hand. Just once.

Give a glimmer of hope, a kindness to someone.

I received permission from a very humbled family to write this post. Per their request, I have been asked to to share the following information; "The kindness of family and neighbors have kept our spirits alive. We will always do our best to repay or pay forward however we can".

As a contributor on  Living on Love and Cents in the Helping Others Section, Tara F brings ideas for Giving on a budget.. You can find out more about Tara and her ramblings at 


  1. I like that your site talks about these in additoinal to the deals. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful post. I agree there's so much we can do to help each other if we just pay attention to what's going on in our own communities.

  3. Thank you for this post.

  4. I love this post. It is always a wonderful thing to help those closest to us in our area and watch the love spread out as it gets passed on in one way or another.


Thank you for sharing your ramblings with me