Needy Family Fund: A small wish list for a Milton woman

MILTON — An 82-year-old Milton woman on a fixed income wishes she had some additional money left to buy Christmas presidents for her nieces.  Delores Bower says, “That is about the only family I have left.”

Bower receives her monthly Social Security check and food stamp money and has to live on that. But these days, with the escalating cost of food and basic utilities like gas and electricity, it’s tough to stretch the dollar beyond her basic needs.  She has applied to the Salvation Army for help this Christmas through the Needy Family Fund, which is sponsored by The Daily Item, the radio stations of Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation and Susquehanna Bank. This year’s goal is $75,000.

“I have my sister and her kids in my life,” Bower said. “They live nearby. I try to get them something every Christmas. It’s a way of showing them how much I love them, but this year, it’s hard.”

Bower is in good health, except for her legs, on which she had a recent medical procedure.

“It causes me some discomfort, it does bother me,” she said. “Besides that, I’m feeling pretty good.”

She also is concerned about her pet dogs — she calls them her “puppies” — and how to afford food for them. “You can’t use food stamps to buy pet food,” Bower said. “But my dogs are important because they protect me.”  Figuring out how to survive on her income sometimes “gets me down,” Bower said. Fortunately, she said, “the Social Security check did go up a little this year.”

“I just wish life was a bit easier,” she said. “If I had some extra money, it really wouldn’t be for myself. This is the time of year you want to help others, your family. It would be wonderful if I could receive a little extra money, and it would be very much appreciated.”  Donations to the Needy Family Fund may be made at any branch of Susquehanna Bank.

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