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To the editor:
My grandmother had many sayings she liked to repeat to us growing up. One of her favorites was “everyone can afford soap and water.” I always thought this to be true until recently. Like many others, I was laid off earlier this year. At first I was not worried, I’m a hard worker with great references. I thought I could get another job very soon. That was over five months ago.
During the past few months I have met many others in the same situation – too many. For me, the savings are gone and there is nothing left. I didn’t know how I could pay the water bill this month to, at least, make sure if nothing else, my children could have hot baths and clean clothes. I never thought I would see a time when I could not afford soap and water. But last week something wonderful happened. A very nice lady who does not have much herself let me work with her for the day. I paid the water bill. She gave me the greatest possible gift, a day’s work. There will be no presents this year but that’s okay, my children understand that is not what Christmas is about.
Many people I know are like me and are too proud for a hand out but would be extremely grateful for any job as losing the ability to provide for your family is one of the hardest things to go through.
If you are fortunate enough to have not been affected by these hard times, giving to charity is great but giving someone a job or even a single days work may be the best and most appreciated gift you give this Christmas.