In the fall of 2012, Dan and his family were not only financially stable but comfortable. He didn’t mind working long hours. The money he earned as a managing EMT was good.

And then winter happened.

Dan began to experience heart problems, forcing him to reevaluate his work. He accepted a new job making minimum wage. Shortly, a major storm devastated not only the family’s historic home but also a rental property the family relied on for extra income.

Dan and his wife, Gracie, found themselves juggling how to pay bills and afford meals for their family.

“It got really difficult to put food on the table. I kept thinking, ‘How are we going to weather this one?’ Our church sent us to our local food pantry. That was humbling. But then I started seeing people I recognized and realized the idea I had in my head of ‘somebody who needs help,’ could really be anybody. It could be me. It was me. And those extra groceries meant I could pay the mortgage, keep the heat on, feed my kids. Eventually, we got back on our feet.”

Things still aren’t easy. Gracie’s health is suffering now, and the family home remains in need of repair.

“But I’m grateful for everybody who was there to help us up when we hit bottom. Now my son and I are volunteering at the same pantry that served us. I just hope he learns that we need to be there for each other. We all need to be there for each other.”

You can be there for somebody right now. Give what you can. And remember that just $1 enables WCFB to distribute $4 worth of food to neighbors like Dan.

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