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Thursday, January 18, 2024

“We Are Living Check to Check – Because of Catholic Charities, I Know We’ll be Ok”

“Catholic Charities was put in my life at the right time.”

A longtime secretary at a local public school in Merrimack Valley, Doris had never before found herself in the position of needing financial assistance. However, when her husband of 40 years passed away in 2019, money quickly became tight––a challenge worsened by the pandemic and rapid rise in inflation.

As the full-time guardian of her two grandsons, Doris began to fear that she would not be able to provide for them without her husband’s income.

“I felt very alone,” said Doris. “My husband not only helped support the family, but he was also the only father my grandsons knew.”

Doris reached out to Catholic Charities Merrimack Valley in Lowell after hearing about it through word of mouth. From the moment Merrimack Valley Office Manager Laurie Lee answered the phone, Doris said she felt a shift – in the midst of her fear and uncertainty, something like hope began to emerge.

“Just talking with Laurie immediately helped,” said Doris. “She made me feel like it’s going to be okay. She is a person who I feel was put into my life for a reason not just to help me financially but to be a support system.”

Laurie guided Doris through Catholic Charities’ Basic Needs resources, helping her receive assistance with rent and utilities bills and surprising her and her grandsons with grocery and Amazon gift cards over the holidays. Doris said Laurie helped her to trust that any obstacle she encountered could be overcome and to recognize she was not alone.

“We are living check to check, and it’s still very hard honestly,” said Doris. “But because of Catholic Charities, I know we’ll be okay. They don’t forget about you.”

Catholic Charities Merrimack Valley is one of five hub locations of Catholic Charities Boston, providing a food pantry, emergency living assistance, and parent programs o families in Lowell and the surrounding communities. Learn more about how to help on our Ways to Give page.

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