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!