THANK YOU LETTER TO EXTENDED FAMILY®
To whom it may concern,
In reflection of this last year, 2013 has been one of the most emotionally and financially trying times in my life. This is a letter I should have written a long time ago, but this is the first chance I’ve had to take a breath and do anything other than fight to survive.
I am a student and a single mother of a 14-year old son. I was working freelance the previous year when I was let go of my job for the first time in my life. Since I was an independent worker, I did not have the security of unemployment or protection of human resources to fight for my rights as an employee, I was just let go with no explanation except they didn’t need me anymore. When several months of intense job searching did not lead to anything, I was getting scared and started having visions of eviction and sleeping in my car. The bills were piling up, my health insurance was put on hold even though I had several procedures that needed to be taken care of, and the last of my money was dwindling to nothing.
Being a single mother, abandoned by my family, and no child support from the father of my son all these years, I had no savings and maxed out credit and no one else to turn to. The day I found out about Extended Family, I was in a dire situation. I had spent hours crying on the floor after opening my mail to yet another large bill and a warning of legal action. I applied for help on your website after a friend -another single mother- suggested them after her experience. I didn’t expect anything, not even a follow-up, so when a worker called me a day later, I was surprised. He told me he had assigned someone to my case.
When my case worker called me, I told him my story. He didn’t promise anything, but I cried on the phone about my situation for about 30 minutes while he listened with a caring ear. If that’s all that came from this whole situation, it still would have helped me in that moment. My case was a complicated one, but my worker fought for me and gave me the thing I needed the most - hope once again that someone out there cares. A few weeks later, I received more than I had ever hoped for, and I almost fell over.
Extended Family saved my life during those months of this year, kept my health insurance from being cancelled, kept me from eviction and gave me the ability to survive. I still am recovering from it all and without this help, I can’t imagine where I would be right now.
A few months later after receiving help, I got called in for a job from a company I was previously working freelance for, and it was at least enough hours to get by. This Christmas for me and my son was celebrated without gifts, and both of us have been more content with having little and appreciating each other and life so much more because of our struggle this year. We also now believe in the idea of miracles in the form of organizations like Extended Family that are in service of people in need that have no place else to turn.
We were sent a Ralph’s grocery gift card in a Christmas card and it was then that I realized how much like an extended family they actually are - and how grateful I am for finding them, no matter how scary and painful this year has been, it’s been worth it to realize there are actually organizations -and people- out there that still genuinely care.
All my gratitude,
Tara at her son Kyler's 8th grade graduation.
Return to the Extended Family website