Share the Season: Bills pile up after woman’s illness

11/23/2012 7:05 AM

08/05/2014 10:10 PM

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.

She worked hard to pay down debt, learn to manage her bills and buy a home. Her 9-year-old daughter never had her own room before, and she wanted that for her child.

But bills piled up after this 34-year-old Wichita woman fell ill suddenly a few months ago. She has health insurance, but it refused to pay hundreds of dollars in medical expenses to two local clinics.

She tried to pay, but fell behind. Then her student loan payments suffered.

“I was out of debt,” the woman said by phone. “But I kind of put myself back into debt.”

So after hearing about the program from a coworker, the woman, a case manager who earns $13.20 an hour, contacted Share the Season. She said she hesitated at first “because there are other people who need the help more.”

The week of Nov. 5, the campaign approved her application and paid for nearly $800 of her bills — more than twice her request.

Last week, the woman and her daughter moved into their new home after living with family for years.

She expects to receive more health care bills within a few months. Her medical testing and treatment is ongoing. But she said she’s grateful Share the Season paid off her current debt.

“I feel thoroughly blessed they were able to get me caught up right in time for me to get my house,” the woman said of Share the Season.

Share the Season has raised $46,076 so far .

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. Or use your smartphone to scan the QR code near this story.

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. 13. For more information, call 316-263-2769.

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