Between the stress of life and death situations, heavy lifting, and bumpy rides hunched over in the back of an ambulance, Dan will tell you that his profession “is a young man’s job.”
For 28 years, he has worked as an EMS Paramedic, always responding to other people’s life and death emergencies. He watches over those having a health crisis, and “shepherds” them safely to the hospital.
However, last Spring, things changed for him. In April, he developed a foot infection that quickly turned septic. He went into the hospital for surgery to remove part of his foot. The infection had seeped into his blood and bones. It was scary for him to face recovering from this deadly illness and not being able to work. For the first time in his career, he was on the other side of the fence, and had to ask others for help.
“MAP’s assistance came at a time in my life when I was in need. It was reassuring and a giant weight off my chest.” MAP paid three months of his rent so Dan could regain his hours at work and catch up financially.
As we spoke to Dan outside of MAP’s doors, an EMS ambulance sped by with full sirens screeching. “There goes another one,” said Dan. “We’re always on call.”
His laughter starts out as a low rolling AYHHH and then turns into a full-blown chuckle. Craig is a local resident that hangs around Mission for Area People. You’ll see him sitting on the bench in front of Temple United Methodist’s green doors or standing in the hallways as if he’s permanently attached to the very walls themselves.
“He’s a neighbor in need,” said Diana Wright-Stubbs, Executive Director at MAP. “He’s been coming around here longer than I have been director.”
Ever since Craig’s father passed away just over 20 years ago, Craig doesn’t have any close family. He’s had to rely on himself and the help of MAP for food and clothing, and occasionally other items.
But Craig doesn’t believe in accepting help without giving back. He knows MAP’s philosophy of “a helping hand up and not a hand out.” Craig will come over and mow the lawn, mop the floors, paint the doors and trim, and do any handyman work that needs to be done. Volunteering is his way of giving back to the community and making other lives better in return.
Her speech is slowly getting better. Since the stroke in October, Cynthia has had to fight to get better, using her strong will as a force for healing. You see, she has eight little reasons for gaining strength and they are all under the age of 11 years old. Cynthia is raising her grandchildren's children and she is determined to get better so they can be back under her care.
“God be the glory,” said Cynthia. “I am a miracle. I give Him the credit for saving my life.”
At the age of 64, her toughest job is loving four of her great-grandchildren and four of her niece’s children. Her grand-daughter is still in prison and her niece couldn’t care for all of her children, so Cynthia promised that she’d care for the kids. Right now, she can only see them through the nursing home window while she goes through rehabilitation from the stroke. “I got to see them today,” said Cynthia. “The littlest one was so excited to see Granny, he wanted to jump through the window.”
Cynthia has been coming to MAP’s food pantry for the past four years for mostly diapers. Occasionally, she asks for food only when her food stamps (snap benefits) won’t stretch far enough to make it through the end of the month. Diana Wright-Stubbs, Executive Director of MAP, always makes sure they have enough.
Update - during the month of November, Cynthia came down with COVID-19 and remains at Mercy Hospital. Her fever has dropped but she still struggles with pneumonia. Her 84 year old mother and sister are taking care of the children.
Cynthia has faith in God’s protection and knows he is in control of their future.