Because we feel it is important that you know how and where your donations to Helping Hands are spent, here is what was done in the past week:

Electric 6 families $ 3,386.37
Water 1 family $ 91.95
Rent 13 families $ 16,418.50
Home Repairs 1 family $ 342.19
TOTAL $ 20.239.01

Our helpline continues to ring off the wall with requests for assistance with rent. There are far too many requests each day for us to meet every single legitimate need that comes to us, and so it is necessary to use different criteria for judging who we should call. If someone calls us who we have just helped, we do not call them back. There are other agencies in Midland that offer assistance and we encourage them to use those agencies. If a caller does not leave all of the information that we ask for (name, last four of social security number, type of help needed and WHY that help is needed) we also do not call them back. After that we prioritize those who we feel needs help the most. Primary for this caseworker are those people facing suffering from medical conditions that make it impossible to meet their bills.

One case we met with this week was Dora, a 54-year-old woman who was diagnosed with COVID in early July. She spent 28 days in the hospital because the disease had moved to her lungs, causing pneumonia. While she is out of the hospital she is still on oxygen because her doctor says her lungs are healing slowly. She will not see her doctor again until October 13. Her employer has been paying her based on a 40-hour per week rate which she is very grateful for. Nevertheless she had relied heavily on overtime prior to her getting sick. She makes enough money to cover her rent but was unable to pay for her utilities, which we were happy to do. The bad thing though, is that come Oct. 5 she will have been off work for 90 days, and her employer at that time will put her on disability which will cut her income in half. She is terribly worried right now that her doctor might not release her.

John and Jesse, in their 50’s are both on disability. Together they earn close to $30,000 in disability payments each year. John was diagnosed with cancer in May. He faced a rigorous schedule of chemo and radiation, and the couple had to pay 20% of those charges. They have been traveling to Dallas for his treatments since May. He undergoes surgery in Dallas next week and they are expected to be there for at least 3 weeks. All of this has put them seriously behind on their mortgage and all of their bills. We helped them enough with their mortgage to prevent foreclosure and referred them to other agencies for additional help, and we will get them caught up on their utilities. Yes, all of this is very expensive, but it has to be done to keep this family from going under completely. As always, we are so grateful for your help that allows us to assist those in need so generously!

We have so many car seats, highchairs and strollers in our thrift store that we are selling them from $5-$10 on Wednesday and Saturday of this week. While you are here you might check out our crib mattresses, booster seats and other assorted baby items, all at extremely discounted prices.