Help pours in for single mother struggling to make ends meet
An outpouring of support has flowed in for a mother-of-five unable to celebrate Christmas because she is struggling to make ends meet.The woman's plight was detailed in The Royal Gazette yesterday. She explained how much more tough her family's life had become since her work hours at one of the Island's hotels were cut.The woman, who asked not to be identified, didn't believe her children, aged six to 17, were affected by the shortage of cash, but said they often went without lunch at school.Numerous e-mails came in from members of the public who read about the woman.Many who wanted to help were mothers themselves. Some said they didn't have a lot to give, but were compelled by the story to donate what they could.One woman wrote in to say: “I have two small children and my heart breaks whenever I hear about a child in need or being mistreated. I also think all kids should get something on Christmas...“I am just a hard working Bermudian and mother. Not rich or rolling in dough, but what I do have I am grateful for, and one way I express that gratitude is by giving back to the community and children in need. It is the responsibility of the fortunate to help when faced with need.”Sheelagh Cooper, chairwoman of The Coalition for the Protection of Children, has been helping hundreds of needy mothers and children through the holiday season.She said she was overwhelmed by the support that had poured in for this particular client.She said any money donated would go towards helping families get their electricity turned back on so they could cook their holiday meal.“I am just absolutely so encouraged by all of the generosity that we have seen this Christmas in particular in response to this article.“So far this month we have received enormous support in terms of money, donations of food and presents through ‘Toys for Tots' and it has been enormously gratifying to see.“Even though many others in the community are hurting they are giving what they can to help others. Christmas is a wonderful time, a time when people open their hearts, but these families still have to eat in January, February, March and the rest of the year.”Another woman who e-mailed this paper, offered to get the children shoes and clothing. She said: “I have a child of my own that is very fortunate, a four-year-old boy.“Just this weekend, we put things together that he decided he would like ‘to give to someone else who doesn't have as much as me' as he has written a letter to Santa, hoping he will bring him new things.”Someone else offered to give a cash donation and said: “I feel sorry for the kids. No child should be without food.“And I know it's harder around Christmas or any other holiday. My only question is where is the father or fathers?”One person who sympathised with the mother's plight said: “My family will enjoy a great Christmas and therefore will enjoy even better to know that someone in need will have the same opportunity.“My heart particularly went out to the children. I don't have much but what I have can be shared to help foster a little happiness. My family is blessed; but [were it not] for the grace of God, we would be in the same situation.”To learn more about the plight of families on the Island and to learn how you can help visit www.coalition.bm.