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No longer in need of assistance

Back on Oct. 4, I shared the story of INA (In Need of Assistance).  Her back was up against the proverbial wall.  INA called me again this week and it was a very different story.  That’s why I am sharing INA Part II with you.

Sketches readers will recall INA as a single woman with a 14-year-old daughter.  She is the epitome of the working poor:  a support job in education that pays only $900 a month; and a part-time job at McDonald’s on the weekend that pays very little.  INA was up against the wall because she could not meet her financial responsibilities.

INA was also about to lose her mobile home.  The electricity was in danger of being cut off.  She was in bankruptcy and behind on her monthly payments to the court.  She had no air conditioning or house phone or cell phone.  She could not sleep-in on weekends because she had to rise at 3:30 a.m. to take her teenage daughter to her mother’s house for safe keeping and then be at her part-time job on Saturdays and Sundays by 4:30 a.m.  She was up against the wall.

In response to the Sketches, two persons promised to send small sums to INA.  One promised $50 and followed through.  The other promised $100 but did not follow through.  I know the second person will send the money when I remind him.  I was thankful for both commitments.  I was even thankful for the thoughts of giving because they were also gifts.  INA was also thankful.

Now, there is more to the story.  One man, who heads an organization that helps in so many ways, read the INA Sketches and called me.   (I do not have permission to share his name).  His organization did not serve the area where INA lives so he suggested that I contact a sister organization that serves that area.  The head of this organization decided immediately to personally interact with her.  (I do not have permission to share his name).

Just before Thanksgiving, the head of this sister organization called me.  His very words were thanksgiving presents.  He said that he and another person had interacted with INA.  The organization did not have any programs or resources that could help in this situation.  However, the two decided to personally help.  They were working with her on a plan.

Their central purpose was to help INA in a way that preserved her dignity.  They worked with her to organize the situation.  Then they made a personal loan to help make ends meet.  That helped save the mobile home and meet other pressing matters.  The head of this sister organization said to me, “We have been blessed and we could give the money.  However, that may not be in her best interest.  She can repay the loan whenever she is able.”

I am thankful that these two men intervened.  I was also thankful that the approach moved INA toward self-sufficiency by working with her on a plan.  I appreciated the loan approach rather than an outright gift as part of the long term self-sufficiency plan.  Putting it all together, it was all about teaching one to fish and providing for a lifetime rather than giving a fish and feeding for a day.  I am thankful.

Then the men decided one other thing.  They would remain in INA’s life.  They would continue to interact and work with her and be there for her.  This required much more of them but provided more to her.  I was even more thankful.  I want to stay in her life also.

INA called me several times while I was in trial last week but I was unable to return her call.  “Senator Sanders,” she said, “I had to talk to you.  I just want to thank you for all you did.  You made a big difference in my life.  A great weight has been lifted.”  She was very thankful to others who helped.  I told her that I was just a vessel, helping connect the Ultimate Source of blessings to other vessels leading to her.  It was others who really made the difference.  She was thankful to all sources for her blessings, particularly the Highest Source.

I was so glad for INA.  I was so thankful for those who helped.  Most of all, I was thankful to the Ultimate Source.  Since I gave INA a name based upon her previous condition, I have given her a new name based upon her present condition – NINA- Not In Need of Assistance.  Names speak volumes about us and I love NINA differently than I love INA.