My $75 Story

What is $75 worth to you?
 
When I moved to Columbus in August 2014, my third move in less than 20 months, I ended up renting a large storage unit for all the stuff that would not comfortably fit into my 1,600 sq. ft. apartment!! I got what I think is a really good deal on rental of the unit at $75/month. I am embarrassed to admit, I have been paying that $75/month ever since.
 
And then…there’s Betsy, my beloved 2001 Honda CR-V with more than 220,000 miles on her. She’s been talking to me awhile about retirement (hers) and I’ve had to get real, preparing for the inevitable car payment I’ve thoroughly enjoyed living without for almost a decade. Where the last two years of St. Thomas’ Annual Rummage Sale has not motivated me to get rid of my stuff (and the storage unit), the need for new wheels now does. An “extra” $75 a month will help a lot with a new personal expense.
 
It is not lost on me the disparity in value between paying $75/month for 34 months to store stuff and the $75 payments CVEM makes almost every day on behalf of so many neighbors who live in poverty and struggle to make ends meet. $75 spent “here” is not necessarily worth the same as $75 spent “there”.
 
You know about the kinds of assistance CVEM offers for our neighbors in need—rent, mortgage, basic household items such as beds or table and chairs, transportation expenses so folks can continue to get to work, maintenance prescriptions for diabetes or high blood pressure or help paying an insurance deductible in order to have a necessary procedure, professional clothing to get started at a new job, help with textbooks and tuition fees when Pell grants and student loans are maxed out. But did you know the standard amount we give to help meet these needs is $75?
 
I’ll say that again: Our standard amount of financial assistance to help with rent or other basic needs is $75.
 
Now, we certainly know that $75 does not begin to pay a full month’s rent for the vast majority of people living in the Chattahoochee Valley!  And, our policies do allow us to offer greater assistance when vital and we have the funds. But that is the standard and I think you would be amazed to know the impact that $75 can make, especially when you add some time, compassion, and grit.
 
Our dedicated Direct Service volunteers and program coordinator spend, at minimum, a half-hour with each person who comes in for an appointment. We sit together and listen to that person’s story, talk about the circumstances around the financial need and what resources they themselves have; advocate with their landlord or mortgage company; and/or seek out other possible resources.
 
Of the 349 households we helped in 2016, 60% received $75 in financial assistance from CVEM. Another 20% received less that amount. For many folks, CVEM was the safety net that helped them weather a crisis and we knew, when that mom who was starting a new job the next week or the couple who now had a plan worked out with the landlord to get caught back up on their rent, they were going to be okay. We will joyfully buy those summer bus passes for the grandmother and her four grandchildren she is raising to get the kids to a safe and fun summer day camp every time. It is a good thing—the right thing—to do. It is a gift God gives us…to love one another.
 
So I am asking you, will you donate $75 today, or whatever amount you are able, to help CVEM continue to care for our neighbors in the Chattahoochee Valley—neighbors who are working hard to provide for themselves and their families; for our neighbors who have limited resources and no other safety net than the goodwill of their neighbors? You can click the Donate Now button below and contribute securely online or send us check (address below). Thank you!
 
I promise you will get your money’s worth.       –Martha