My name is Natalie, I'm thirty four years young & the mother to three beautiful children.
Each day I see & hear about all of millions of struggling families across the world- people needing help with medical bills, funeral expenses, house fires, or just funds to help family members simply survive the day to day. I see all of the hurt in the world and I size up my own problems next to their's.. and it just doesn't compare. I have never publicly asked for help for fear of what others may think of my family and myself.. I know that sounds horrible, but that's real talk.. & after I woke up this morning to find that my water had been Disconnected, I had this overwhelming sense of urgency, mixed with adrenaline,anger & embarrassment, mixed with " wow, I really let this happen," I knew that my only choice was to ask for help.
So here's the facts;
In April 2020 I began falling behind on my monthly bills- I had to pay rent in full, but with covid-19 in full swing, the power and water company allowed payments to be suspended temporarily.. so being human, I took advantage of this.. which I regret.
In October 2020 the water company sent me a letter informing me that the city voted to resume charging late fees and penalties on all past due bills, and gave me 9 days to pay $568.34. It took absolutely everything I had in order to make that payment. After doing so, the water company required me to come into their office and sign a payment contract or else my water would be disconnected.
They took the total of what I owed and broke it into four payments. In order to keep my water from being disconnected I had to agree to pay my normal monthly water bill on time in addition to the past due payment, which came to ($364.00 a month extra) for four months until my bill was squared away. I signed the water contract on 10/13/20 and my next payment date was set for 11/24/20. I knew I couldn't make that payment, but I had to sign that contract or else my water would be disconnected anyway.
(Please note that I also got hit with overdue electric payments at the very same time.. It was as if a flood came and washed over my life in a matter of just a few days.)
I felt pretty helpless.
Fast forward to today, 12/08/20-
I wake up to no water, and a lovely orange tag on my front door stating that I must pay $603.50 in order to resume services.
I immediately contacted the utility bill clerk at my cities Water department and literally begged for any kind of extension. I explained to her that I do not have that kind of money and that there has to be some kind of arrangement we can come to so I can have my water turned back on for my children.
She then proceeded to tell me that my water should have been disconnected last month and that my contract was now null and void and the total to have my water reinstated is $1004.88.
I reached out to my church and they are enrolling me in financial support counseling, but with it being such a large amount during the Christmas season they could make no guarantees right now.. which I completely understand, there are so many families out there that need help in so many different ways right now.
I come to you and ask that if you are able to help in any way possible, I would be so thankful.
I see families use this platform to tell their story, and I see family, friends, and complete strangers help these families build their life back up, and it is amazing to witness all of the good in this world- especially during times like these where everything is uncertain.
I fail to remember to that God has my back, even when I don't have my own, but I know He will help to heal my family and lift this heavy burden.
If you have made it this far I appreciate YOU so much!! And I appreciate you taking the time to read my story.
I ask that if you cannot give, to please share this with your loved ones.
Thank you and God Bless.
I hope that each of you have a wonderful Christmas and that if tough times are upon you, know that they will not last forever. Of this I am certain.
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