I never imagined that at 47 years old that I would be facing the nightmare of being unable to pay my rent. But with a broken foot and unable to work for three months, that nightmare became my reality. Contacting Sister Season, I was able to qualify for assistance to help me through this incredibly difficult situation. With the knowledge that my rent was paid for me by Sister Season, I was able to focus on healing and the pressing matters of post-surgery wellness. The process of applying was made easier because of the assistance and empathy of The Sister Season volunteers. They contacted my landlord for me, and communicated with me throughout the application process. I will always be grateful to Sister Season for making a very dark time in my life a little bit brighter. -James Grattan ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
This past June, while vacationing in Ohio, I suffered a coronary that resulted in emergency open-heart surgery. The event, without getting too detailed, resulted in care at nine different hospitals in two states over nine months. It appears that more health issues will need attention in the future but, for now, I am finally able to return to my regular work schedule.
I am employed by a family business that caters to the tourism industry here in Key West. As such, I work for a modest wage and have modest means; just as many of us who live in “paradise”. When the doctors allowed me to return to Key West (after three months of emergency recovery in Ohio), my savings had vanished because I had no income for so long and I was desperate to pay my rent, utilities and other bills. After hearing of my plight, a friend told me of the Sister Season Fund.
She told me that the charitable fund was available to Key West employees of businesses dependent on tourism and strongly urged me to apply. I must admit that I was very skeptical. (Being a single man in my mid-forties during the devastation of Hurricane Wilma, I know all too well just how fast a victim of circumstances can be turned away from assistance by agencies that were created to help those in need.)
But, after much prodding, I reluctantly submitted my application to this program, the existence of which I had been completely unaware. Within days, I received word that my medical issues and limited ability to work had been verified. And, within a week or so, the first rent/utility check was issued to my landlord! Sister Season was sure to offer consistent follow-up and monthly assistance until I could return to my full capacity at work. These past months have seen a far more successful recovery process without the worry of potential homelessness becoming a reality. I (and those who care about me) will forever be grateful to the Sister Season Fund and its sponsors for the Godsend they have been. My employer, of over eight years, is very thankful that they did not lose a productive and loyal employee simply over financial issues related to an illness. I am very vocal about how wonderful it is to have such a service available to a segment of our community that contributes so much to our culture but is also so financially vulnerable.
Potential donors, please consider very seriously about contributing to the good work that the Sister Season Fund provides. For those of us who are thrust into these difficult situations, we must depend on the kindness of others to simply survive. And, although I never wish the need to arise for anyone, I certainly understand the feeling of comfort that exists just knowing that the Sister Season Fund is there if needed.
Sister Season, Thank You Sooo Much! Many Blessings to You All! -William McRoberts