Imagine being a single dad with 3 kids, you get home from work and open a shut off notice from PSE. Your cupboards are getting empty. You’re hungry because you went to bed last night with no dinner so your son, who is growing, could have seconds. The child support check you were supposed to receive 3 weeks ago still hasn’t arrived. You only have $50 in the bank which needs to last until next payday.

Feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders you don’t get much sleep and, in the morning, you are “hangry” and tired. You snap at your kids while they get ready for school. You snap at your boss when you get to work. Later that day your boss calls you in to his office. You’re worried because you snapped this morning. Instead your boss asks you what is going on. He knows this is not normal for you. You take a deep breath and let it out. It takes a lot of courage to share your personal struggle with others for fear of being judged. Your boss shows no judgment. He lets you know that there is hope and ensures you that you are not alone in this world. He provides you with resources and tells you about POM’s Samaritan Services. He lets you go to POM for case management without making you take time off work without pay.

When you walk into POM you are treated with kindness from the staff and volunteers. You walk away with your PSE bill being paid and food to fill your cupboard. That night you and your children go to bed with full stomachs. You sleep well knowing your kids’ needs are taken care of. You are refreshed by the knowledge that there is hope and that you are not alone. Thank you to all the caring bosses out there who recognize the humanity of their employees and extend grace when they can.

Gratefully - Elisha Smith-Marshall, Executive Director POM