I moved to this town about 10 years ago with my husband and two kids. I was working for the school district, and my husband Jack was bringing in six figures as a computer consultant. We bought a house, had a dog — life was wonderful.
Then Jack began tripping and stumbling unexplainably. We brought him to the doctor, and the diagnosis was the worst: Lou Gehrig's disease. Four months later, he was gone. I was left alone to care for our two children; devastated not just emotionally, but financially too. Medical costs eliminated our savings, and my $20,000 salary wasn't enough.
I couldn't see a way out — at one point I seriously considered letting another family member raise my kids. I had no idea how I would provide. At my lowest point, I found the pantry, and really, it saved my life. The groceries I received allowed me to stretch my budget and slowly start getting back on my feet.
That was six years ago. I've been volunteering at the pantry every Saturday since. It has become a family to me — a fellow volunteer even introduced me to my new husband. Today I am nowhere near the place I was when I first walked through those doors. The pantry gave me so much more than food — it gave me hope. At the end of my tunnel, there once was only dark — but now, all I see is light.