Our first association with Lynn was a call we received at the Clearinghouse several months ago inquiring about diapers for her little one. We verified that the only income in the household was her husband’s SSI check which was less than $750 per month and set her up for diapers with the wonderful ladies of the First Presbyterian Church’s Diaper Ministry; which has truly been a blessing to many young moms!
This past December Lynn knocked on our door. We opened it and found a young woman who was obviously sick and in need of help. As she came into the office she explained that her cell phone was out of minutes requiring her to make a personal appearance. Even though she was obviously not well, her first priority was her child, asking for more diapers and expressing her distress about not having a Christmas present for her toddler.
As we updated her file, she told us her husband had tried to take his own life again and was in a Columbus facility for treatment and that her family of three was living with and sharing expenses with another family. She also related that they had little clothing as she has chronic health issues and had lost a lot of weight and currently had only two pairs of sweat pants to her name. Her son also had health issues and was “tall and gangly” for his young age and was growing out of everything. We provided her a voucher from our friends at St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store who welcomed her to shop for what she needed.
Because of her financial situation, Lynn was also signed up for the Personal Care Closet provided by the great folks at First United Church of Christ. Here she would be provided a hot breakfast and with items not permissible to purchase with food stamps. KUDOS to another great ministry in the Marion community network!
It was obvious by looking at her the first thing she needed was to go to the Center St. Clinic for treatment as soon as possible. She said she would go, but she was near tears when she blurted out what she really wished for was something under the tree for her toddler son. For whatever reason, she had missed the signups for Christmas help and felt hopeless, useless, and at the end of her rope. It seemed everything was caving in… Now it was time to pray, and pray we did. Tears from both of us were tears of joy and hope; I prayed she would come to realize the true hope of Christmas. It was a wonderful moment for both of us.
After getting all the help lined up, I told her Christmas would be provided for some way, somehow. That was on a Tuesday. I asked if she could come back on Friday morning and she agreed. When I opened the door I couldn’t believe how much better she looked and acted!! She had been to the Center St. Clinic, received medications and was like another person. Thank you Center St. Clinic for being there for her and many others! Yet another blessing to our community! And, Lynn told us her husband was much better, and would possibly be home for Christmas. Things indeed were looking up!
Lynn’s excitement was obvious when we showed her the wrapped presents and Christmas cookies provided by volunteers; what excitement as we shared her joy. Lynn had indicated she would get a ride Friday morning (they have no car), but to our surprise, there was no ride, just a little red wagon to get her goodies home in. She said she uses it to go to pantries and it was OK, she was used to using it and it worked fine. It was a snowy cold day as we watched her and her little red wagon walk up Main St. I said a little prayer for her safety; walked back inside, and thanked God for His beautiful Blessings.
Lynn will more than likely still struggle, but I pray that what transpired that week will give her hope and strength in the days ahead. Please pray for all the Lynn’s in our community… Blessings to All, Linda at the Clearinghouse