Thursday, November 4, 2010

When Someone Hits Their Breaking Point

This is part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

Years ago I worked in a food bank that was associated with a church. We gave food to people who came in and needed it. We also helped pay bills such as rent and electricity. We generally did not pay the deposits for electricity since the client would get that money back, after a year, if they were able to pay their bills successfully each month. We had a mix of populations: those on Welfare and those not on Welfare, nor eligible because their jobs paid a little too much.

Just as we were about to close one day, a woman and a very pregnant woman holding a toddler's hand walked in. The pregnant woman was crying and her face was bruised. She kept looking down, gently whispering to the mischievous toddler. I brought a toy over for the toddler to play with and found out the accompanying woman was actually a social worker.

This pregnant woman was leaving her husband, her abusive husband, after almost two years of abuse. They had an apartment set up for her but she had to pay all the other bills. She needed money for the electricity deposit and the social worker was bringing her to us for help. We didn't pay deposits, but how could deny her freedom from abuse?

I locked the doors since we were technically closed. I filled out some paperwork for her. Then I got to calling various other organizations to see what we could do. We all had the same policy and none of them had seen her and her aborable child. I thought, what the heck!! I called the electric company and spoke to a certain someone. I explained her situation and that she already had the apartment paid for for one year. I was able to argue my case and the electric company waived the deposit. I don't think I ever saw such a huge smile on someone so desperate!!

I saw her one other time prior to our moving (my husband is Navy after all). She had her baby and her toddler. She came to thank me. Her husband was in jail for several years and she was getting divorced. She had a great job and had been able to maintain her bills and take over the apartment payment. She was doing well. I hope she still is doing well!


  1. Wow...I got chills reading this. You were her angel that day. Visiting from Mama Kat

  2. Thank you. I don't look at it that way, though. I was only 26 and without kids. She was younger than me and asked for help. It takes strength to ask for help sometimes.

  3. I hope so too:)
    Thank goodness she encountered caring people like you who helped her from becoming just another statistic. I really like the expression "Lift one" because it just shows that everyone matters, and can make a difference.

  4. I can't agree that it's a sad post. Granted, there were sad circumstances that brought her to your door, but you (and obviously a team of other people) were able to help change her life. More importantly, you were able to help remove one child and prevent the other child from the abuse. You're an amazing person.

  5. So glad the woman was able to get her life back on track. Great that you were able to really come through for her in a big way when she needed it most!

    Stopping by from writer's workshop. Here's a link to mine: