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Help through Tough Times

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Hello, my name is Dan Szulewski. Along with my awesome wife, Char, and our two youngest children, Griffin (13), and Avery (12), we moved to Oregon in April 2014. We had lived in Illionis/NW Indiana for our entire lives until last year when we decided to move for a fresh start. Things at my previous job weren’t going well. The company I worked for was losing the contract for the yard where I had worked for most of the last 20 years. We were going to be starting over one way or another and decided to finally make the leap we had wanted to make for the last 3-4 years. So on April 15, 2014 we packed our car and a UHaul trailer with what we could fit and started our 2000 mile journey to Eastern Oregon . We arrived on April 18 and I started my job with the railroad on April 21. I like my job quite a bit, it’s a good job (it will be even better when I get to top pay scale in another 4 years), but we have still struggled for most of the time we’ve been here. We have had to rely on some kind of help from friends or family to get from one payday to the next. We have made some truly amazing friends since we've been here. This September Char was finally able to get a part time job and we thought things were getting better. That was until just before Thanksgiving this year when I was laid off. I have been given no indication of getting called back to work in the near future. While waiting for railroad unemployment to kick in I have put in applications for jobs but have heard nothing back as of yet. We have also found out in the last couple weeks that Char needs shoulder surgery to repair her rotator cuff. She had been having pain in her right shoulder/arm for a few months and finally went to the doctor and received the bad news. So we are in desperation mode right now. Our rent is 10 days late, I have no paycheck coming in the near future, Char’s next paycheck won’t even cover rent and the rest of our bills, and I don’t even want to think about the fact that Christmas is 2 weeks away. Griffin & Avery have been tremendously patient, waiting for things to get better. Things have not worked out the way I thought they would. The best I can hope to give them for Christmas this year is a roof over their head. I never expected to be in this situation and I wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t absolutely need it. I know this is not a great time of year to be asking for help. I’ve looked to local groups for help but there are no funds available right now. I don’t know what else to do. If there’s anything you can do to help, anything at all, I would greatly appreciate it.


  • Joan Gresens
    • $25 
    • 9 yrs


Dan Szulewski
Hermiston, OR

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