I met a broken woman today while volunteering. I was brought to tears to see how much this lady was hurting emotionally.
She told me her story about how she’s worked in a factory since she was 13 years old, and how her parents instilled in her that you are worth what you can contribute to your family. While working this year, she was seriously injured when a large machine roller fell on her back. She is currently out of work and drawing a tiny workman’s compensation check of only $180 per week. Jobs in our area pay so little that the normal salary, let alone the percentage salary that is offered in workman comp cases, just isn’t enough to live off of.
She was depressed and feeling worthless because she can no longer work to support herself and was embarrassed to visit the pantry for assistance. She explained to me that she had visited the department of family and children services and they denied her assistance because she drew “too much money” from her workman’s compensation for a single woman with no children.
It’s hard to explain how much hurt I felt for this lady; you would have to have seen her face to understand the pain and lack of self-worth. I referred her to a partner program that could offer her counseling and possible medication for her condition. I hope that she got herself some help.
And again, this makes me angry with government programs that are supporting people who are simply taking advantage of the system while they refuse to help people that work but are down on their luck, and those who are trying desperately to support themselves.
Read all of Emily's posts so far.
Day 1: Shock And Devastation
Day 2: Frustration And Disbelief
Day 3: Cross Paths
Image credit: Phil_g on Flickr