Contact: Ken Elliott
Charity and Love Restores Hope
If you have been blessed in life, have enough saved to handle a couple of months without a job and have family nearby that loves you, chances are you will have a difficult time imagining what it’s like to be without hope.
This is a story about a young family who almost lost hope. This family thought their life was secure, Dad, a veteran, had always held a steady job and Mom was on track to graduate college with an accounting degree next December. Dad’s pay wasn’t enough to save a lot but the family was excited to be moving that day in August into a nicer apartment than the one they lived in presently. Their furniture and all their personal possessions were loaded on a trailer in the parking lot ready for the move. That’s when Harvey struck and their life was turned upside down. The home they were to move to was flooded, the home they were moving from was flooded, their truck and trailer were flooded. Suddenly they had no home, no furniture, no vehicle, no job and no income. Their meager savings and Mom’s student loans were soon used up by hotel charges while they waited for their planned new apartment to be repaired. They were luckier than most, they had paid the security deposit and first month’s rent on the new place, so they did have a home to move to eventually. This family somehow survived by pawning what little they had rescued from the flood and were eventually able to move to their new apartment. It was an easy move, they had no furniture. A nearby SVdP conference was able to obtain furniture for them, and household items though the SVdP ‘House in a Box’ program which has helped hundreds of families like theirs after Harvey, they were truly thankful. To hold down a job Dad needed a car, he somehow managed this too, but the family’s troubles were far from over. Weighed down by debt incurred in the aftermath of Harvey they eventually were unable to make the rent and were facing a court ordered eviction in a week. This was when Dad walked into our St. Theresa’s SVdP food pantry begging for help, he was worn down with worry and could see no way out of his situation. He had lost hope, unless he came up with the $2,300 rent and arrears by next Tuesday his family was going to be living on the streets. Unless he made the last $400 car payment he would lose the car and not be able to get to work. Our Vincentian volunteers realized that this was ‘situational poverty’, if we could pay their rent and arrears and pay down some of the debt, the family would probably never need help again. The amount needed however was beyond the means of any one SVdP conference so we appealed to other nearby SVdP conferences and other ministries that help the poor and were blessed to raise enough money to pay the rent and arrears, pay the final car payment and some of the mother’s college tuition. This story has a happy ending; Dad is working lots of extra shifts and overtime but feels truly blessed to have had his hope restored and prayers answered.
Many thanks are due to: Second Mile Ministry who pledged to assist and sent this father to us for help, St. Laurence Social Concerns Ministry, and the SVdP Conferences of: Holy Rosary Catholic Church, St. Angela Merici Catholic Church and especially the loving donors of St. Theresa Catholic Church, who support our SVdP ministry and enabled us to help rescue this family from poverty and give them back the hope they thought they had lost.
Contact our St. Vincent de Paul Coordinator, Ken Elliott, at 281-242-9149 during hours of operation: Monday and Friday, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Feel free to drop by the Pantry (on the corner of Wood and 7th) to say hello and learn more about
this wonderful Work of Mercy.
The continued generosity of St. Theresa Parish allows us to provide limited financial and nonperishable food assistance to those in need in our Parish and Sugar Land community. We appreciate the continued assistance and support you help provide. We also appreciate the Sugar Canes, and many individual parishioners that contribute to our needs. H.E.B. Grocery Store is very generous in their continued support for the Food Pantry, as well. Our pantry is seeing an increase in the demand for toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, laundry detergent, and diapers for newborns thru 2 yr. olds. We are always in need of the following: flour, sugar, cooking oil, peanut butter, jelly, soups, cereals, beans, cake mixes, and all non-perishable items. We are also seeking a volunteer bilingual greeter/interviewer to assist us during office hours. Thank you!