Russell is an energetic kid who is learning how to read. He likes to eat oranges and bananas. He and his 6-year-old older sister are being raised by their grandparents.
Even though Dee and her husband are having health issues, the grandparents couldn’t bare to see the kids put in foster care. They decided to take them in.
In 2016, her husband had prostate cancer. Last year, Dee was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Though she had her whole kidney taken out, she ended up developing a blood clot in her leg, which affected her mobility.
“It’s not easy. You know, it takes a lot of energy and I don’t always have the energy to do it. Neither does he, but we have to take care of them. We love them. If we didn’t, they’d end up in foster care, so we have to do what we have to do,” Dee said.
Recently, the family has hit a rough financial patch. Her husband is going through a bankruptcy and his wages have been garnished.
“I’m on disability, but he’s in the middle of a bankruptcy so they’re garnishing his wages which makes it difficult. We went through a month and a half without any checks, which has been difficult so this place here really helps.
Between all their medical expenses and having to provide for two more people, the family is having a hard time making ends meet. They have resorted to pawning their items to pay for their co-pays at their appointments.
To ensure the family has food on the table, Dee turns to the Food Bank’s pantry partner, Hill Country Ministries.
“This place is a God send. We’re thankful to have this place when we’re having rough times,” Dee said.
At the pantry, she gets enough food to fill her fridge and pantry with staples, canned fruits and vegetables, frozen protein, bread, fresh vegetables and the fresh fruit her grandkids love to eat.
Her most recent visit to the pantry is even more special. She’ll be able to take home a turkey and all the sides to celebrate Thanksgiving.
“Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It’s all about family and being with family. They love to help me,” Dee said.
The grandmother is grateful to be able to make holiday memories with her grandkids, something that wouldn’t have been possible without the help from the Food Bank.
“It makes it so that I don’t have to be sad that I’m not able to give them really fond memories, because we’ll not be around forever, but I want to give them a childhood they’ll remember and be fond of,” she said.
You can help families like Dee’s celebrate cherished family traditions. Thanks to a $150,000 matching challenge by the Beaumont Foundation and a local Austin family, your gift will be doubled through December 31. This holiday season, feel good again by making a gift to the Food Bank.