As home health therapists, we stumble into all kinds of circumstances. When occupational therapist Erin King met a family living in dire conditions, she took action.
“This is a family who is doing everything right, but can’t get a break,” Erin explained. “They are a lovely couple with an adult son who is developmentally disabled. Neither parent can work as both have had strokes. They were evicted from their apartment when the husband got sick and could no longer work, and put what few items they had into a storage unit. They moved into a shelter where he got sicker and was eventually hospitalized. He had a stroke while he was in the hospital and their storage unit was repossessed. They are now living in this apartment and have no belongings. There is one chair and they literally take turns sitting on it.”
Erin provided the family with resources and is working as part of the home health team to help the husband get back on his feet. But the urgency of the situation compelled Erin to do more.
Erin took to her Facebook account and reached out to her friends and family. The response was amazing.
“I got an overwhelming response right away. One person I know went to Wegman’s and bought an entire week’s worth of groceries. Another lady I know who lost her son about three years ago donated a bunch of things. She even donated her son’s last shirt that was hanging in the closet- she had been hanging onto it for sentimental reasons. She told me it was time for that shirt to go to a gentle soul who needs it. It was incredibly touching. I feel like Oprah driving all this stuff to them.”
Erin has managed to find furniture, clothing, shoes, kitchen items, and gift cards for this family. But on a larger scale, there is much more to be done.
“The husband is eager to return to work, but he is limited by severe complications from his stroke. I am not sure what else we can do long term.” Erin says.
In the short term, Erin plans to deliver more donations and collect whatever else the family may need. Erin’s generous heart has inspired the entire crew at Baker Rehab to be on the lookout for families in need. Her example has shown us how a simple gesture can make a huge difference in someone’s life.