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So this is a Christmas …..

I would like to start by telling you a bit about ourselves. We are a working family of two with a small pet. We have been married for over 30 years and are in our 50’s. We have both worked since we were 15 years old along with taking college and trade schooling. We don’t have children, but only because we were not blessed with such an honor, but we accepted this as our fate and carried on. In the last few years our lives have changed drastically from what we knew due to a lay off. We managed the best we could and made so many changes to our daily living to create a more “simple life”. We had hardships, but as a couple we remained strong and were happy because it’s what we chose. We lowered our expectations and standards and did what we had to do to survive. Since my husbands lay off 2 years ago everything became “different” from what we knew. We got rid of luxuries like tv and internet, we sold anything and everything we did not need and wants were put aside and any income we had went towards needs. My husband continued to work any jobs he could get but continued to get laid off because he was always the new man in the line up of employees to be handed the same shirt,y after him. It was not until the last lay off that things started to go downhill for us. Any money we had was being used to survive, we lost our home and our vehicle we owed only $2000 on got repossessed. We made poor choices by putting any money we had into the home we were trying to save instead of accepting this as it was, but that was a lesson learned and we cannot change this so all that’s left to do is accept it. Now here were are today. Both working, but the repercussions of 4+ months with minimum income, no savings left and almost everything we own sold we can hardly even make enough to survive as we have been. Our rent is astronomical for 2 people and that’s because we were in a foreclosure, behind on payments and were limited to who would rent to us. My husband is working again and receiving regular money now, but we are playing catch up. We do not qualify for any govt assistance because we don’t have children. We are basically considered working poor and assistance is not considered because we are solely 2 adults with a home we do not own. I know this because I spent an entire morning trying to get some help with our disconnected power bill. Fortunately it’s winter months so it’s on a limiter where we can have a few lights and heat but cannot use a stove or dryer. No one would help us. Not one government agency and I was not asking for a handout, but was asking for a connection to be able to use our stove and oven and have a repayment plan in place. But guess who did come through for us. The Edmonton Food Bank and any of YOU who donated. We are ecstatic to have been given this blessing of one less thing to worry about during a worrisome time. It’s not about Christmas dinner for us and It’s not about gifts it’s about just being able to have a roof over our head and eat enough to survive and continue to work. If the item I received is a little past expiry I don’t care. That’s just how much we need it. When you are without, saving $4 on one item given to you so you can use that $4 to buy necessities that are not provided by the food bank is HUGE. Yesterday was an emotional day for me with a lot of rejection and I could not have written this post but today I am strong and if you choose to be negative and judge me I say go ahead. I am determined and I am positive. We are choosing joy and if it means a meal of sandwiches for Christmas dinner, that’s ok. I don’t have total power, but I do have a Christmas tree that lights my whole house, enough food and as long as we continue to catch up on our rent payments that are behind we will have a roof over our head. So THANK YOU Edmonton food bank and THANK YOU Edmontonians who donated, THANK YOU to the volunteers packing the food we received and THANK YOU to the kind woman on the other end of the phone who listened to me without judgement and provided. . I AM GRATEFUL! P.s. not ONE thing we received was expired or bad. Merry Christmas Edmonton and to all the “working poor” and couples with no children please know you are not alone. Sincerely, Firat time Food Bank recipient who is feeling a little more hopeful today because of you. Your food blessing is the best gift ever!

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50 Responses

  1. This post made me take a look at the life I have and I counted my blessings. I wish you all the best in 2019 OP.

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  2. Dustin Grant Dustin Grant says:

    Wait… If you’ve both worked for 40 year’s, what did you spend all your money on? How do you not have living expenses saved? Investments, RRSP, TFSA’s, etc?

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    • Dustin Grant dont be a dick….

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    • Debbie Ryder Debbie Ryder says:

      Dustin Grant they have spent it all on surviving . They have had no hand outs . Please don’t judge as it can happen to any of us. Merry Christmas to the OP. After working for 30 years and not having any help you deserve whatever the food bank can give you .

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    • Cindy Mason Cindy Mason says:

      Savings don’t last long when you lose your job in this economy. My savings are all gone and I was on the verge of having to cash in my RRSP. If I get laid off again I am toast.

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    • Dustin Grant Dustin Grant says:

      I do know how quickly you can burn money. Every time oil crashes I am jobless.. I lost my job 2 weeks ago but I save and don’t buy useless shit like quads or get a new truck every 2 year’s.

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  3. Susanne Bard Susanne Bard says:

    Thank you for your post, it gives me hope. I too am in my 50s and if this ever happens to us I would never have known how to get through it. You are amazing for sharing your story!

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  4. Debt Counseling agencies can help you with this. Can get you on a program of repayment and make lif a bit less stressful.

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  5. Rhon Magyar Rhon Magyar says:

    GREATthat things are turning around. Layoffs and cutbacks have hit a lot of us but you have each other and that silver lining is showing again. Merry christmas

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  6. Kari Dyer Kari Dyer says:

    PM me OP, my family and I would love to make sure you have a full Christmas dinner

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  7. Also for people who are struggling and need a bit of a breather. During winter they cannot cut your heat. Epcor can cut your power any time of year, but if you need a few extra dollars for food, you can let your Direct energy go for a month or so while you get caught up. It’s not ideal but it’s important for ppl to know that they can’t disconnect your heat. They may say they will but challenge them and they will say they can’t. I mean obviously you’ll have to pay it eventually but could help in the short term.

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  8. I think AlbertaWorks will pay your utility bill and get your electricity reconnected.

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  9. There are more ppl than you know that are in the same boat. Nobody wants to hire older ppl. The last 4 ish years have been rough for many and it’s not going to get better.There are a lot of ppl out there that say it’s rough, lol. They have their hair and nails done. I’ll be thinking of everyone who is without at any time of the year. So sad. Stay strong.

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  10. April Clapp April Clapp says:

    There is a program called job corps through alberta works and they are absolutley amazing!!!!!!!! They will get you working and get you certificates and such. I owe my life to that program.

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    • i used a program called job connect. It is funded through Alberta works but run by BGS enterprises. It runs downtown by career counselers. They help you with your resume and teach you how to find jobs and connect with potential employers. It is free and it helped me get on track to find an amazing job. Good luck!

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  11. Edmontonians you are wonderful ♥️

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  12. Amy Melby Amy Melby says:

    Beth Thomas Greening
    Lynda J Klassen

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  13. Jean Freeman Jean Freeman says:

    Bless you! Pray 2019 is kind to you and your husband

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  14. Susanne Bard Susanne Bard says:

    Shauna Fred Snow it really is hard to get work when you’re over a certain age, sorry to hear what you’re going through! Hope you have better luck in the New Year!

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  15. I love your glass half full perspective! The past 3 yrs have been a major change for my hubby & I, too. His wage has been drastically reduced by the economy, and my ability to work has been patchy due to health issues. We have cut a lot of things, sold things. I am a completely different person (spending habits wise) then I used to be. The job market has gotten so competitive it’s scary. I just wanted to say that a lot of ppl in Alberta are feeling it, too. It really changes your perspective when it happens to you; I’m glad you are finding the blessings in all of it & have each other. I hope 2019 is good to you!

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  16. Becky Betts Becky Betts says:

    It seems as if there are many offers already up, but if you’re ever in a tough spot after the holidays, save my name and send me a message. I don’t have much, but there’s always enough for a couple more at my table, and my family could use the influence of such positive, grateful people around. It would be a win-win. ❤

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  17. Good for you. The post was well written and opened my eyes to those that have been affected by the current conditions. I contribute to the food bank and will make another contribution after Christmas. Happy to know it helps.

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  18. This made me ao sad and also so grateful, i do count our blessings since life can truly hand you a curveball! Please pm me if you want. And may 2019 be a good year!!!!

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  19. Tammy Calvin Tammy Calvin says:

    2018 has been hard on many, my 29 yr old son had a place to live until today. Now he and his dog are out on the street. Where I live I cant take them in. It hurts

    It is a difficult year for many. I am thankful you have food and warm home.

    2019 has to be better, cause the stress is killing me.

    Cheers to a Christmas miracle for everyone to have warmth, food and shelter.

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  20. Joe Bishop Joe Bishop says:

    You don’t require children to apply for alberta works. Take in your bills and ask for help. Go to the doctor, get a medical for stress, anxiety ect ect as a medical will help you gain alberta works. If you have a medical, utilities are bound to leave some on, call them and inform them. It’s the start of winter, contact your mla.

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  21. Please message me – your post is what my grief filled heart needed as a reminder of what Christmas is about. Please please message me

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  22. Please pm me! We don’t have much but your post really made me feel greatful for what we have, I’d love to help you in the spirit of Christmas

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  23. Free christmas dinner to anyone at Sacred Heart church.

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  24. Wishing you all the best OP! ❤️

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  25. I see there are a lot of people already offering, but thought I’d put ours out there too. If you ever need anything we will do our best. Not just this time of year, anytime. We would like to help anyway we can

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  26. Tara Adams Tara Adams says:

    PM me for a dinner invite ..we’d love to share with you

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  27. Merry Christmas to all ❤

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  28. I am trying so hard to have a positive attitude that something will change for the better. We are so blessed to have what we do and live in this wonderful community. Merry Christmas everyone.

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  29. Rhey Stigoy Rhey Stigoy says:

    let Christ be the center of our lives this Christmas….

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  30. Candice Ball Candice Ball says:

    This post should remind everyone what Christmas is really about. You guys may not have much but you have each other and that’s pretty special.

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  31. I am a volunteer at the Food Bank and I can’t tell you how much it fills my heart to hear of a grateful recipient of our hampers. We can only give as good as we get, and the generousity of people is such a joy to see at times like these! OP, please remember that you are able to get a hamper once a month if needed to get you through this rough patch. Blessings and Merry Christmas!

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  32. Sandra Wells Sandra Wells says:

    Thank you for sharing! So many people don’t realize how quickly life can take a turn and the impact it can have! You are in our thoughts and prayers! Hopefully a much better 2019!

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  33. This post struck me in my heart. God bless you and your husband. May 2019 be a lot more kinder to you. I am glad to hear the food bank has been a help as I contribute to it on a regular basis.

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  34. Tim Jacklin Tim Jacklin says:

    Made a tough old feller like me well up. Its nice to hear someone so appreciative express so well the sentiments (and similar circumstances) of many. Peace.

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  35. You mentioned you had a pet.
    There is also help with food if you need some.
    http://www.ahas.ca/our-services/pet-food-bank/

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  36. Thank you for sharing your story. This year was incredibly hard for us and life can change in a matter of moments. However, through it all and as hard as it has been I tried time and time again to be thankful for what we do have. Blessings to both you and your husband.

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