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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Family struggles with bills after accidents, work injuries

By Tiffany Rayer Nelson
The Wichita Eagle

Share the Season is an annual campaign that offers one-time aid to people affected by unforeseen hardships. The people are not identified to protect their privacy.

After a series of accidents, this family is unable to make its mortgage and utility bills for December.

The 47-year-old mother has been working full time since her husband was critically injured in a 2008 accident in which a tree limb impaled him. He has undergone multiple surgeries and still has lingering medical issues related to his punctured lung and shattered ribcage.

Their family of five includes her daughter, 14, son, 24, and grandson, 11 months.

Last year, they almost lost their home, which she has lived in since childhood, due to a fire. Although the home was salvaged, they did lose many things, including baby albums and family portraits. “Insurance can’t cover sentimental loss,” she sadly notes.

She recently suffered a slipped disc in her back and bulging disc in her neck from her lifting job. She is unemployed and has been actively seeking another job for the past three months while taking care of her grandchild.

Her son has been working to help with the bills, but was laid off from an aviation job. Since then, he has been continuing his education while working in temporary employment

Things have spiraled to a desperate need for help. The bills include a $540 mortgage payment, and their gas and electric bill totaling $570. They have also worked with the bank on deferring their car loan, which has a total of $800 left to pay off, until after Christmas.

“I’m very thankful that Share the Season is available to people who really need help. I know that having the family together — that is the most important thing. But it would be such a blessing to be able to have presents under the tree for my daughter and grandson.”

So far, Share the Season has raised $64,160. Donors include: Garret and Kris Burkhardt; Donald and Sally Chesser; Bruce and Patricia Cole; Jeraldine Cooper; Ruby Dawson; John and Linda Finn; Robert and Gale Fleming; Hugh and Patricia Harding; Stephen and Barbara Holmes; Joseph and Rosemary Honer; Karen Hopper; Terry and Carol Jones; Alvin and Marilyn Kemmerer; Nancy Lee, in memory of Jack Lee; Hazel Linder, in memory of Jim Linder; Nancy Lundstedt; Diana Miller, in memory of Anna McConnell; Don Nicholson, Randy and Stormy II, in memory of Greg “Barney” Nicholson;

Vera O’Rourke; Robert and Carmen Razook; Mary Rohleder; Charles and Nina Rousch; Leta Sanders; Karen Sanders-West; R. Phyllis Smith; Edmond and Carolyn Spencer, in memory of Jean Schular and Jerry and Jack Shipman; C.M. and Laurel Standley, in memory of Lisa O’Neal; Robert and Elaine Todd; Margaret Uppergrove; Wichita A’s Model A Ford Club; anonymous in honor of Betty, Ron and Veronica Neugebauer; anonymous in honor of Becky Wold; 13 other anonymous donors.

Send contributions to Share the Season at the Wichita Community Foundation, 301 N. Main, Suite 100, Wichita, KS 67202.

Donations also can be made through PayPal online at www.wichitacf.org. Donors will be listed in The Eagle; please note if you prefer to remain anonymous. For more information, call 316-264-4880.

To apply for help: Download an application at www.sharetheseason.org, or pick one up at the Salvation Army, 350 N. Market, Wichita. For more information, call 316-263-2769.

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