Merry Christmas from Amy at The Salvation Army in Williamsport. I wanted to tell you a story about a woman who came to my office last week:
"I just want my 7-year-old to have his own bedroom." She was sitting in my office on the verge of tears. "I'm not going to cry. I don't want to cry. My son always tries to cheer me up when I cry. He shouldn't have to deal with that."
Again, she looked like crying. "I've done everything I know to do. My family's in another state, I've been staying with friends but I think I'm wearing out my welcome, and I've been on the waiting list for two years for low income housing."
Santa, this wasn't news to me. The state has seen some benefits because of the gas industry but housing is not one of them. Time and again, people come to The Salvation Army asking for help so they won't be evicted.
Landlords are increasing rent because of higher demands for housing. That leaves an ever-increasing need for those who can no longer afford to live on the income they once had.
Which brought me back to the mother I was listening to in my office. She was seeking help - maybe through money toward rent or a temporary place to live until housing came through.
But, in addition, I think she was looking for hope. The fact that she hugged me on the way out my door made me realize she may have received both.
Please help by giving generously to the Sun-Gazette and the Salvation Army Santa Fund.
You can help make this a brighter holiday season for local families by making a contribution in person to any branch of M&T Bank or by mail to M&T Bank at 405 River Ave.; at the Salvation Army, 457 Market St.; or the Sun-Gazette office, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport, PA 17701.
The Santa Fund is a fundraiser organized by the Sun-Gazette and the Salvation Army to help local families in need.