Loading
By Brian J. Lowney
Rhode Island charity helps woman persevere

.- Mabel Smith never imagined that one day she wouldn’t be able to pay her bills and be forced to ask other people for assistance.

“I’ve always worked two jobs since I was 16 years-old,” Smith recalled, adding that she and her late husband had saved their money, lived modestly and achieved the American dream by purchasing a modest home in the suburbs where they hoped to enjoy a happy retirement.

That dream was shattered two years ago when Smith’s husband died in a state hospital, where he had been a patient for more than two years. Using the couple’s life savings to pay outstanding medical bills, she fell behind on her mortgage. After several months of nonpayment, the bank foreclosed on the property.

“You have to carry on, but it’s difficult,” Smith said, adding that she works more than 30 hours per week at a call center, but still struggles to pay her rent and purchase medications and groceries. When she discovered that a medication she was recently prescribed required a $200 co-pay, she refused the medication and asked her physician to order a less expensive generic drug.

Smith shared that one of her biggest fears is losing her job because of absenteeism. A chronic, debilitating medical condition makes it difficult to perform her job some days, forcing her to stay home.

“It’s one day at a time,” she continued. “I’m scraping to get by. I don’t live high.”

Smith, who worships at St. Peter Church in Warwick, R.I., noted that after she pays her bills, there is often little money left to buy groceries. She has visited the parish food pantry and has also benefited from the generosity of a relative, who generously stocked her home pantry as a Christmas gift, which helped her throughout the winter.

“It’s nerve wracking when you have to watch every penny,” Smith continued. “This is not living — it’s existing — but it’s what I have to do. I’m still very grateful for the many blessings that I have received throughout my life.”

When Smith’s oil tank nearly ran dry last week, she called the Office of Catholic Charities and Social Ministry in Providence, R.I, recalling the assistance she has received two years ago from Bishop Thomas J. Tobin’s Keep the Heat On program.

After completing an application over the telephone, Smith was informed that she would receive 50 gallons of heating oil the next morning.

“I was panic stricken,” Smith recalled, adding that earlier this winter she also had received oil deliveries from two community agencies. Without the heating assistance, Smith said she couldn’t keep her apartment warm when temperatures dropped.

“I’m very grateful for the oil and for the help that I have received from the diocese,” Smith acknowledged.

She added that she also struggles to maintain her dignity and only had sought heating assistance because it was a dire emergency.

“Every time the furnace goes on, my stomach does a little flip,” she said.

“I’m hoping that the 50 gallons will get me through the winter and into April. I hope that we don’t get another snowstorm.”

Posted with permission from Rhode Island Catholic, official newspaper for the Diocese of Providence, R.I.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A Look at India from Rome
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
Aug
1

Liturgical Calendar

August 1, 2014

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:54-58

Gospel
Date
08/01/14
07/31/14
07/30/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 26: 1-9
Gospel:: Mt 13: 54-58

Saint of the Day

St. Alphonsus Liguori »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Homily
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: