Connection, Compassion, and Utility Assistance
Recently, a Catholic Charities Serving Portage and Stark Counties’ Emergency Assistance Caseworker received a call from 96-year old Portage County resident, Betty. Betty explained that she had never had to ask for help before, but that her electricity was going to be shut off because she could not afford to pay her bill and she did not know what to do. As Betty explained her situation, it was evident that she needed more than utility assistance; she needed an empathetic, listening ear, which our caseworker was happy to provide. She listened to Betty explain that she was a widow, that her adult child had recently moved out of the home that Betty owns, and about the loneliness Betty was experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In listening to Betty vent, reminisce, and even laugh a little, our caseworker helped Betty to feel as though she was not so alone. She was then able to obtain the information that she needed to assist Betty with her electric bill and prevent the disconnection. When Betty learned that her electricity would remain on due to the assistance we provided, she was so grateful that she began to cry. Our caseworker shares the sentiment that so many of our Catholic Charities’ caseworkers feel: gratitude for being in a position to not only help those in our community with emergency financial assistance, but to have the opportunity to extend the love and compassion of Jesus Christ to those who are poor, vulnerable, or without hope while doing so.