The Dallas Morning News Charities funds 20 North Texas organizations that help our neighbors who are hungry and homeless by providing food, clothing and shelter to individuals, children, the elderly and families in need. We offer assistance to help people get back on the road to independence.
Alison was physically and financially abused by her husband throughout her marriage, though few people knew. She was given a small allowance each month to support the family of 6, while her husband spent recklessly and abused drugs.
With no support system and overcome with shame, Alison couldn't bear the thought of neighbors, friends or family knowing the conditions she was living under. She cut back on her own meals to ensure that her children had as much to eat as possible before bed, and in the morning before going to school. Finally her husband was arrested, and she had to endure even more through testifying in court, petitioning for divorce, and facing now being single, unemployed and explaining to her children the struggle before them to survive.
Alison lived near one of our Dallas Morning News Charities and fortunately she turned to them for help. Alison was then provided with empowering programs and services such as professional counseling for her and her children, financial literacy, life coaching, emergency financial assistance and food from the food pantry.
Today, Alison is employed, working on her bachelor's degree and on a road to financial freedom and self-sufficiency.
Senior still working in his golden years
Reynaldo's story offers a glimpse into the life of a senior who is still working at retirement age. With few resources to draw upon, Reynaldo will probably never be able to afford retirement.
Reynaldo's brothers often did business in the United States. Each time they returned from a trip, they would talk about menial laborers that made a thousand dollars a month in the US, Reynaldo would listen to these stories with amazement, in El Salvador he could only dream of making that kind of money.
In 1983, Reynaldo fled war torn El Salvador to start a new life in the United States, but a harsh reality soon emerged. Reynaldo found that his brothers' tales of high wages for menial labor were true, but they were matched by equally high living expenses. "In my country, you build a house and then live there forever for free." Reynaldo recounted, "and things don't cost as much. The money that seemed so high to me in El Salvador is not enough to survive here."
Reynaldo worked a series of low paying jobs, always hoping that in excelling at his job, he would stand out and obtain a big promotion. As Reynaldo aged he found that he could no longer do the strenuous physical labor he was able to do as a young man making it harder to find work. At 65 Reynaldo is entering a new phase of his life, he's a senior.
"I already know that because my retirement check will be so small, I must continue working full time all the rest of my life to be able to survive."
Reynaldo works full time for a large retailer. His pay isn't enough to cover his living expenses, so he counts on one of the Dallas Morning News Charities to bridge the gap. Their senior citizen program helps low income seniors like Reynaldo afford basics such as food, rent assistance, and clothing on an ongoing basis. By providing basic needs programs, seniors avoid hunger and desperation in their golden years.