Everyone comes upon hard times in their lives. There are those that ate truly in need and then there are those that just suck off everyone and everything. Sadly it's the latter that makes it hard for some to be truly charitable.
Personally, I thank God for some of the churches by us. In the last two years my wife and I went from making approx. $80k combined to making less than $20k ($18,200 annually). How's that for living comfortably to below poverty in a short time? In a nutshell...wifes career position was elimated (then re-established for a younger, cheaper employee) and we were forced to relocated, giving up our home and back to renting. . Her unemployment ended earlier this month, with tireless efforts at job hunting proving more difficult than you could imagine.
I work a county LE job in a small town. $8.74/ hr is a far cry from what I'm used to but apparently considered " good" pay around here, but I am happy to just be employed in this economy. Especially in this area. Raising two small girls on that salary has proved to be a challenge in itself. Holidays are a bit tougher.
The reason I can speak of this openly, without shame..is that I have an amazing family. We are strong in our faith and are survivors. We have the two most amazing little girls that, even at 4 & 3, put others before themselves.
We have made nearly every sacrifice possible to stay afloat. I've sold all my firearms/ammo, we turned the car (07 Honda Accord with $9k owed) over to the bank. Just couldn't make the payments that less than two years ago weren't even a concern. We now drive a '93 Buick given to us by a local farmer who attends our church. While it is on its last leg, we are forever grateful. We cut cable tv, home internet ( my phone is our internet access...the one luxary we kept) and have learned to do without. It has made us more thankful for all of the little things.
The reason I am disclosing these very personal and very hard to talk about details...is to remind everyone that sometimes we forget just how tough some really have it. We have a great local church that we attend that helped with Thanksgiving. We donate all of our spare time ( between my 12/hr shifts, her job searching and raising two little ones) helping with the churches food drives and clothing ministry. I guess our was of giving back best we can.
We are considering starting our own Bail Bonds agency and I am applying for my FFL. Anything so that we can support ourselves without ever having rely 100% on an employer again.
Anyway. Enough of my babbling.
God bless everyone and even more to those that have fallen on hard times. There has to be light at the end of the tunnel. I'm sure of it.