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.
Struggles are nothing new to this 35-year-old Navy veteran.
Since being discharged from the military in 2004, he has been homeless twice. A father of three children, he’s in the process of getting a divorce.
“But I think things are starting to turn for the better,” he said.
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They certainly did recently when Share the Season helped him get caught up on utility bills.
“I didn’t know how to react,” he said. “I was over the moon. I need to send them a thank-you note or buy them a cup of coffee.”
Originally from Virginia, he said he thinks he’s on the verge of stabilizing his life. He’s had the same Wichita residence for the past two years and has had the same job as a customer service rep for three years.
He fell behind on bills when he was unable to work for a few weeks in October because of what he called a “mental health issue.” No sooner did he return to work than his car needed some costly repairs.
“Share the Season has helped me tremendously,” he said. “I still need to get caught up on my rent, but this gives me a chance.”
His children have been living with their mother in Arkansas, but he hopes to gain custody of them. In the meantime, he said, he has been paying child support.
He’s also been getting some health issues handled through the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita.
“Wichita has been good to me,” he said. “I’m very grateful.”
Share the Season is a joint project of The Eagle, the Wichita Community Foundation and the Salvation Army.
So far this season, it has raised more than $79,000.
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. If you have questions about donating, call 316-264-4880.
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. 17. For more information, call 316-263-2769.