A Guest Post from Together Rising Community Member and Volunteer, Katherine Welch. I stood on the edge of the soccer field, three boys in tow and camera in hand, and I spotted her across the field, bundled against the fall chill, the bounce in her step immediately recognizable even though we had never before met. As she turned around, her eyes met mine, and she crossed the field toward me. But she stopped. “Sunny?” “Katherine.” We tentatively stepped toward each other, and we hugged. Hug. That word doesn’t come close to capturing that moment, that moment when one who has laid bare her soul meets the one who has opened herself to receive it. I was there to give and to receive that hug, to feel the warmth, but when I remember it, I often feel like I’m hovering above those two women, looking down, not unlike how I imagine the One who orchestrated that moment might have viewed it. A few months after I found the Momastery community, the first Holiday Hands was announced. I was feeling a new sense of urgency to give in a more meaningful way, a way that Together Rising has since helped me to […]
“I’m not really sure how to even start this, this whole putting my pride aside thing is really hard for me.” We get that. We really, really do. But we are so grateful that Stephanie found the strength and bravery to ask for the help that she needed. For years she endured violence in her relationship. It is a terrible thing not to feel safe in one’s own home. When her husband left her he took everything of monetary value, cleaned out their bank account and never looked back. Finally free from his abuse, she found herself unemployed, destitute and needing to care for her two precious Littles, both of whom have special needs. That would bring most people to their knees- but our Stephanie is a Warrior. She picked herself up, found work cleaning houses and continued to take care of her children. She also, in true Monkee fashion, found a way to use the difficulties she’d endured to help other women in similar situations by starting a not-for-profit. Amazing. Amazing people need help sometimes. This hard working mother is doing everything she can, as she put it, “to make ends meet, but they never meet.” She wants what […]
Jessica wrote to Together Rising, asking for help for her sweet 8 year old daughter. She says, “I have been my daughter’s only parent her entire life.” Between the noble work of single parenting, and her full-time job, we knew Jessica was burning the candle at both ends to make ends meet. For Jessica, her career in social work provided for her daughter’s needs until she got a troubling report from her daughter’s dentist. Her daughter would need over $3,000 in dental work to avoid frightening corrective jaw surgery later in childhood. You can imagine Jessica’s heartbreak to learn the necessary dental work was not covered, even in part, by Medicaid. As Jessica poured over her budget to find the funds for this necessary procedure, she shared, “I work as a social worker full time, but the money is just not there. My “leftover” money totals less than $150/month, which has to cover both gas and groceries. I am SO BLESSED to have even that amount for the necessities.” But it’s not enough. Not enough for this critical procedure, and not enough to save her daughter from a series of painful and threatening dentist visits in the future. Monkees, this […]
Try and remember the last time you were sick and just the act of breathing was difficult. Now imagine that it is your child who is fighting that chronic battle- and the one thing you can do to ease that struggle, vacuuming to cut down on household dust and allergens, is not feasible because your vacuum has broken and you cannot afford to replace it. It’s such a simple thing, really. And most of us complain about vacuuming- but for Monkee Valerie, cleaning her house to ease her son’s burden is sacred work. “My name is Valerie B. and I have a son (turning 2 this month!) that has been plagued by health problems… I am a single mother, under employed with a child support claim that is not being honored, and a grad student… My son has battled constant respiratory infections for months now, his lungs are so sensitive and cannot seem to heal. I clean a few times a week, dusting and sweeping, etc. But we live in a 100+ year old home, so there is a TON of dust. Recently, my vacuum burned up and now it needs to be replaced. I just don’t have it in […]
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