NFF: Foot surgery forces woman to seek help

All too often, families managing to get by in these poor economic times sink when hit hard by unexpected medical issues.  Robin Cramer, of Watsontown, was staying economically afloat, holding down two jobs, until she needed to have foot surgery in early October. Though she will be returning to her jobs when she is able, being unable to work meant being unable to pay her rent and utility bills when they came due. A daughter, one of her three children, lives with her but only works part-time, and the loss of income severely hurt them both.

When the Halloween storms knocked out what power was left, she stayed with her son and his family in Allenwood for a couple of weeks, but she didn’t want to become a burden. “It’s a pride thing,” she admitted.

Though she has other family members, including a sister in Oklahoma, who would like to help, they aren’t that well off themselves and they are not close by.  Since her surgery, “I’ve been spending a lot of time seeking help,” she said, and that included making calls to many area churches. Cramer, who describes her age as “riding 50,”has found it “hard to step out of my comfort zone and ask for help.”

Inevitably, the churches she contacted “would ask if I belonged to that church, and when I said no, they politely said they couldn’t help me,” she said with understanding.

In the next moment, her somber tone brightens.“Then I came across a church in Muncy, and the man I spoke with was very agreeable. He offered — and he was the first to do so – that when I’m over the hump, to come check out the church. They’re a church that reaches out to the community, he said, and that if he hears of anything they can do to help me, he’ll let me know.”

She’s known better times and hopes to get beyond needing help as soon as she can. “I used to work at a hospital, and I saw they had a lot of connections. I saw social workers helping people.” She just doesn’t know where else to turn right now, and that’s why she reached out to the Salvation Army and the Needy Family Fund, grateful for a little assistance to help her through her hardships.

As she told the kind gentleman at the Muncy church, she looks forward to some day taking up his offer to visit his church and that one of these days “I want to give back to the community. I want to be one of those helping distribute baskets for the holidays.”

The Needy Family Fund, sponsored by The Daily Item, Sunbury Broadcasting Corp. and Susquehanna Bank, raises money during the holidays to aid the Valley’s less fortunate. It is administered by Salvation Army citadels in Sunbury and Milton. Donations also can be left with Susquehanna Bank offices in Sunbury, Selinsgrove, Milton, Lewisburg, Shamokin West, Shamokin East, Kulpmont