This morning’s call was one of those that we have come to dread. Sadly, for the third time in the past ten months we were asked to help underwrite funeral expenses for someone whose family was unable to provide a proper burial.
It was only last January when we received a call from Pam Koner founder of Family to Family, which directs its work to helping people who live in poverty in rural communities around the country. In that call, Pam shared the tragic story of a young child in a Navajo community who had been killed in a fire that engulfed the family’s trailer home.
Today’s tragedy, in this very same community, involved a single mother of five children who walked out of her home to visit a neighbor and disastrously fell into a nearby arroyo (creek.) Already somewhat disabled by severe arthritis and other ailments she was unable to get herself to safe ground and in the night’s 19 degree temperature, froze to death. It was only by the light of day that a neighbor came upon her lifeless body and called for help.
Today there are five children who are orphaned with no immediate support. The mother’s Social Security disability will come to an end leaving the family with no income or food stamps.
Now, who will help?