When any of our family thinks about our oldest sister Char, the first thing that comes to mind is that she is a really great grandmother. She's happier as a grandmother than she's ever been in her entire life and these kids truly bring a smile to her face. Every Fall, Char rounds up her family for a Christmas photo, which includes the grand-dogs, of course! Her Christmas card and family photo are always one of the first we recieve because she's so proud of her family and specifically those grandchildren!
Unfortunately, for some time, our sister has lived at an income level that doesn't allow for much in the way of medical treatment, let alone some of the most basic things many of us take for granted. She doesn't complain very often, but when she does talk about her situation, it's when something hits hard, like now. She really needs some extensive dental work, which includes extractions and full dentures. She does have an old partial which gives her some top teeth, but unfortunately, the newly missing tooth is front and center. She has 3 teeth left on the top and 6 on the bottom, so chewing is hard and many teeth over the years have caused her extensive pain. None of this is due to her lack of trying. She's always tried to take care of her teeth, she was just cursed from the start with bad teeth and has dealt with this for a long time. The photo included in this campaign is with her partials and was taken a few years ago when things were in a little better shape. Char is on Medicare and even with the help of a supplementary insurance, the cost of her last extraction was over $400, which she paid for in payments. The approximate cost of 9 extractions plus dentures would be $9,100, only if there are no complicatons.
Char does not have vacations, (including visiting her siblings in other states) shopping is done at the Dollar store (and minimally), there's no eating out that doesn't include a coupon; and coupons are a necessity in many aspects of her life. Her diet is not the best it could be, not just from the cost of food, but also the lack of ability to be able to chew.
Being single and living in a small apartment by herself, she's gotten used to her privacy, but she is the first to help her sons with the grandchildren and the first to assist our Dad and Aunts and Uncles with anything they need. Her willingness to help anytime is so valuable to the family, since she's the only one of us in the area to be able to offer that assistance. Many times, they'll need to give her gas money in order for her to take them to their appointments, but if they need a ride and her vehicle is running (for now it is), she's there for them!
Char's debt, built up from living on such a meager means for so long and never being able to catch up, would prevent her from getting a loan to assist her with this. I know she considers filing for bankruptcy because she knows she's in an endless loop of debt. I'm not sure I'd even have the heart to talk her out of it, even though she'd be ashamed if she actually went through with it. Our mother was a single woman, raising four children for a while without the suppport of our father. We grew up seeing what a really proud woman looked like, and our sister is no different.
She does have a part time job taking care of a wheel chair bound gentleman who needs assistance getting around and even with that, she lives at the current U.S. poverty level. Some of our family has helped her out in the past, although never on a scale such as this. In the various times that we have given her some money, her appreciation is deeply sincere. She'll take help when it's offered, but never will she ask for it herself.
Our sister will make do without a lot and still smile, but to have to see her go through her days not smiling because she has no teeth was too much for us to not try to help. This is not something we ever thought we'd would be doing, and I'm not sure how she'll feel about it, but I am so very grateful GiveSendGo is here for us to at least be able to try getting some assistance for her.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your consideration.
I love that GiveSendGo believes in freedom and stands for all people! #GivingTuesday