It Could Happen to Anyone – It happened to Connie
“But, for the Grace of God go I” is a thought that crosses the minds of so many Vincentian volunteers, as they speak with, and provide friendship and assistance to our neighbors in need. With so many individuals and families from right here in our own community living “paycheck to paycheck”, even the slightest life setback can be enough to cause financial calamity, and even homelessness.
An SSVP volunteer recently shared one such story of a neighbor in need – Connie, pictured – whose life was nearly turned upside down…simply because her car broke down. Connie’s story, while unique to her, is indicative of the small margin of (financial) error that the people we serve live with, as they struggle to provide for their own most basic needs of food, clothing and housing.
In Connie’s own words:
I recently came across a round of bad luck, which really had me spiraling. I’m always on a tight budget as it is, but on my way home from work a number of days ago, my car broke down. I had to have the car towed and, thankfully, my insurance covered that cost. However, after getting home, I started trying to figure out how I was going to pay for the sizeable car repair.
As I was already behind on paying my rent, I realized that I desperately needed to somehow earn extra money to pay my bills, which were really starting to pile up, as well as to figure out how to get to and from work. Although my boss was helpful for a ride in the short term, I couldn’t find any long-term solutions. After more than a week of not finding any real solutions to my problems, I came to the realization that I was: 1) carless; 2) nearly jobless; and 3) on the verge of becoming homeless. I truly needed help from someone, somewhere.
Not having any clue as to where to turn, I searched the internet for any local assistance to help with transportation…or with anything else. I was really, really down in the dumps, as I honestly saw no way of turning it around in time to prevent me from losing everything and becoming homeless.
I came across a few service agencies and left messages, explaining my situation, although had very little hope that anyone would contact me back. To my amazement, though, someone from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha did get back to me. And within 24 hours, the volunteer that befriended me was able to lay out a plan that would get me over this financial hurdle that I couldn’t overcome on my own. Not only is the Society of St. Vincent de Paul paying to fix my car (my #1 concern), but they are also paying some funds towards my past-due rent.
Only one day prior, I had been in tears, praying pretty much all day, asking God to somehow help me in my life crisis. I had been at a point that I honestly thought that I was going to lose my car, lose my job and lose my apartment. As it turned out, though, God sent an unexpected angel in the form of a volunteer from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha.
The society’s volunteer took such a HUGE weight off my shoulders. Because of them, I’ll be able to get caught up on rent very soon. And the kindness and genuine caring from the SSVP volunteer was amazing. She never seemed judgmental of me and my situation, which was huge for me, because I felt so ashamed…like a dog with a tail between my legs, asking for assistance, completely embarrassed. Instead, she was unbelievably kind and understanding, and was so quick to resolve my situation and get me the help I needed. SSVP has just been a one huge blessing for me, one that I couldn’t have even imagined just one day, prior.
Saying thank you to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and their volunteers seems so insufficient, because of all they’ve done and the peace of mind they’ve restored in me. When I get myself straightened around, I would be proud to volunteer for the society in any way possible…to just try to pay forward the many blessings I’ve received. I am so grateful to each and everyone associated with SSVP. God bless them all. Connie”
Gifts to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha are used to care for the people who turn to us during their hour of need and are greatly appreciated. All of our services are provided at no cost. All gifts made to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Our donor information is kept in strict confidence. Our donor lists are never rented, shared or exchanged with other organizations. The stories in our letters are real. Identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy and therapeutic interests of those we serve. For more information about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha, or to include us in your estate planning, please contact Development Director, Tim Sully, at (402) 779-8499 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.