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.
Despite health problems, this woman, 41, keeps working to improve the lives of others. A home health care provider, she said she enjoys visiting people in need.
“Some people are just lonely,” she said. “I know how important it is to have company when times get hard.”
She recently lost a home to foreclosure and has moved to a rental home.
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She said that she is no stranger to starting over. After being struck by a drunk driver around midnight one Sunday in September 1996, her life changed dramatically.
“She pinned me in the car,” she said. “The whole vehicle was contoured around my body; the dashboard was like an upside-down V. It hurt to breathe.”
As a result of the accident, she now must take shots in her back every so often.
“I already had a bad back and that just took it out,” she said. “I can’t walk long distances anymore and wasn’t able to be independent.”
Since then, she has rebuilt her life, but still experiences medical problems stemming from the accident. She also has stomach ulcers, a hernia, a tumor on her liver and Plantar fasciitis, a foot ailment.
“Even just going to the grocery store hurts — my foot will start throbbing,” she said. “But I’m a fighter; I’ll keep going. They haven’t knocked me down yet.”
She has been to many local doctors, and said she is grateful for GraceMed Health Clinic.
“It’s humbling to know that someone’s there to help,” she said. “If I’m poor, they won’t turn me away.”
While she rebuilds her life, she said she has many different motivations to continue.
“My kids are an inspiration,” she said. “This phase will pass. It’s just a moment; there’s a whole lifetime ahead of us.”
She is asking for help from Share the Season for new or used tires for her car. She said assistance with paying the heating bill would also be greatly appreciated.
“I currently wear many layers of flannels and T-shirts at night,” she said. “The good thing is if I go outside it’s not as cold.”
In spite of all the hardship, she remains highly positive — a gift that she said comes straight from God.
“I have a lot of good people in my life and they’re going to be there when things get rough,” she said. “I know God’s going to leave me more time on earth — He hasn’t taken me out with a car wreck yet. One of these days, I’m going to be the one writing the checks (to Share the Season), paying it forward.”
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.