One of the best and simultaneously worst aspects about having a voice on a reasonably popular blog network is that I can direct my meager audience to good causes. Why’s that bad, you ask? It’s not, in and of itself. The problem comes when people I know come to me with good causes that break my damned heart.
DuWayne Brayton, a long-time friend and a very good man, pointed me to a mini-fundraiser he’s running for a friend of his. I know DuWayne to be measured and almost obstinate when it comes to asking for help. So when he asks, it’s serious.
And yeah, this is pretty damned serious.
Celia is an awesome woman with a goofy, wonderful son, both of whom have autism spectrum disorders. She has struggled a great deal of her adult life to maintain a reasonable living situation for herself and since he was born, her rather silly son. Unfortunately she hit a major bump in the road that started when a combination of her and her son getting sick and her car breaking down rather cut into school and work. She lost her financial aid, her job and her best means for finding a job in a town with limited public transportation.
She almost lost her apartment and power last month. Now the situation is even more dire. She has no food, no power and ten days to come up with *this* months rent. Her son is staying elsewhere, but she is stuck in a house with no power and a whole lot of worries. She is in desperate need and has talked of very a very permanent solution to her problems. It is *that* dire.
The individual story is one thing. The fact that this happens over and over, that people are living that close to insolvency and that any single event with a financial impact could throw a child’s world into chaos, is something completely different. It’s galling. It’s demotivating. It’s heartbreaking.
We can fix this one. But how do we fix them all? What’ll it take to convince people to fix the nearly non-existent safety net, the massive gulfs of inequality between the rich and the poor? People like Celia and her son don’t deserve this kind of turnabout, caused by no moral failings except our society’s. To put Celia in a position where she honestly feels that the last resort of suicide is her best option — that’s damning of all of us.
Isn’t the point of society to help one another, to keep this sort of tragedy from playing out over and over again?