I respectfully request assistance from anybody who is kind enough to give me a second chance. It is hard asking for help. This is my story.
In 2008, I was divorced after 33 years of marriage. Although this event broke my heart, I had worked all my life and felt capable of taking care of myself. I invested the bulk of my property settlement in a townhouse. Because I was married when I was 20 years old, this was the first thing I owned completely on my own and I was proud of my fresh start.
At the time of my divorce, I was working and doing well. I was laid off due to budget cutbacks. I quickly found a new job, but my salary was over 30% less than what I made when I purchased my house. In time, I found another position. However, my commute took 3 hours a day, and the price of gasoline made up any gains I made taking the new job.
The stress of so many new jobs in such a short time, the financial strain, and the difficult commute soon wore on my health and small problems became bigger issues interfering with my ability to concentrate and care for myself. I have sleep apnea, hypertension, and restless leg syndrome. These conditions as became worse. In July 2012, I lost my job. I did not receive unemployment until October 2012 when a judge ruled that I had been wrongfully discharged.
I am a professional. I had been looking for a job. But by October, I had stacks of rejection letters and an exhausted savings account. My bills were all overdue and unemployment barely covered utilities and some food. I am very well educated and have several degrees. I worked at looking for a job, but the real struggle became not becoming utterly despondent and despairing.
As I worked through my struggles, I recalled childhod memories of gathering around a table. Raising my own two children, I recalled the joy we all experienced from a stack of homemade pancakes. I remembered being especially proud of my apple pie. I remembered a picnic that was perfect even though it included only bread, wine, and cheese. I realized that the truly memorable events in my life were celebrated with the food we ate and the toasts with wine, and I was happiest when I was thoughtfully preparing meals that became part of those events.
I enrolled in culinary school at a local community college, and even though I have been through a university education, this was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I was funded completely through scholarships. I borrowed books. I didn't eat. I rented out by bedroom and lived in my garage. I worked on campus. I worked at a butcher shop.
I graduated in March with honors. I am working as the lead cook in small bistro near my home. I am in constant pain and need surgery so that I can walk normally, go up and down stairs, and most importantly continue to work.
I am unique because of my education and maturity. I am a natural leader. I communicate well. I am creative. I learn quickly. Most of all, I am a very hard worker.
If you feel moved to help me after hearing my story, thank you. Your donation will help me rent a knee scooter, purchase a leg brace, orthodics, medications, and recuperate while my leg heals.
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