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Share the Season: Couple who used to give to others now find they need help themselves

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, at 6:22 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, at 7:24 a.m.

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.

A number of people requesting financial help this season have noted that in the past they have been among those giving and not asking.

One of those is this husband and wife who have encountered health problems.

“We usually adopt a few children for the holidays,” the 51-year-old husband said, “but this year everything has changed. I feel like I’m letting the children in the community down.

“I can’t believe it has come down to me being the one asking for help.”

He had a full-time job at an aircraft plant but began having back problems two years ago. Back surgery in April didn’t help, and he’s scheduled to have two more surgeries in mid-January.

His disability benefits ran out about a month ago, he said. He hopes to return to work following two months of recovery from the surgeries.

“We’ve managed to stay afloat until now,” he said.

His wife, 43, works full time helping needy families. Her mother, whose husband died about a year ago, also lives with the family and helps supplement the household income with her Social Security benefits.

They also have a teenage daughter in the home.

So far, Share the Season has raised $133,694.

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

To donate online, go to www.sharetheseason.org.

Donors will be listed in The Eagle; please note if you prefer to remain anonymous.

To apply for help, fill out an application at www.sharetheseason.org or pick one up at the Salvation Army, 350 N. Market. The application deadline is Dec. 16. For more information, call 316-263-2769.

Among recent donors: Michelle Anderson; Ronald and Eleisa Barber; Alpha Theta Master Chapter, Beta Sigma Phi; Edwin and Eleanor Bolain; Peggy Browning; Edna Cooper; Robert Emig; Finn’s Cabinet Supply, in honor of Connie Barnes; Paul and Bernadette Frank; Cyd Gilman; Robert and Susan Grelinger; Reuben and Edna Hanson; C. Gordon Harrod; Donald and Karen Harviston; Charles and Melanie Jenney; Daniel and Norene Kerschen; Neil and Barbara Marcus; Joyce Markley; T. Steven and Delyn Mattingly; Charles and Louise Milburn, in memory of Brent and Corey Milburn; Wendy Miller; Carl and Sandra Nickles, in memory of Versea Watts-Smith; Gilbert and Sharon Nye; Joan Parker; Curtis and Mary Peck; Walter and JoAnne Pfister, in memory of Daniel Pfister; Al and Betty Pitts; James and Janis Riley, in memory of Helen Ryan; Jon and J. Myrne Roe; Jeff and Kay Sennett; David and Laura Shriner; Hope Smith-Becker; Tom and Ruth Wells; James and Karen Wohlwend; anonymous, in memory of Bolton and Steinkie loved ones; and 15 other anonymous donors.

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