By Fina Badolato
For the Times Herald-Record
On the job for almost 30 years, this Ulster County woman felt a certain sense of workplace security – well, at least as much security as these uncertain times would allow.
An industrious person, she could count on working overtime hours on a regular basis, which helped boost her paychecks. She had proven to be a good tenant, having resided in her apartment for nine years.
Years before, the woman’s marriage had broken up, so she was the sole breadwinner; so far, so good. But unfortunately, a sudden change was about to disrupt her life. Her employer went through a merger, and the overtime hours at work vanished. Duplicate positions – including her job – were eliminated, and she was re-assigned to work she hadn’t done in nearly 20 years. COVID restrictions made it difficult to find another job.
She did her best to juggle the reduced income, but paying her rent became a struggle without the overtime pay. One of her rent checks ended up bouncing, racking up additional fees.
Because she was always a reliable tenant up to then, her landlord kindly agreed to work with her in catching up with the rent. But soon even that became an unmanageable challenge.
And that’s when the Record’s People for People Fund stepped in to help a normally self-supporting person who was experiencing an unforeseen financial emergency.
“I fell behind in my rent,” the woman explained. “It wasn’t because I didn’t have a job, but because I used to have extra work – and then I didn’t … It was this rollercoaster.”
The People for People Fund – formed in 1985 by the Times Herald-Record and the Junior League of Orange County – was the temporary helping hand she needed to get back on track. “They were there for me when other agencies wouldn’t help,” she said, adding that it was particularly frustrating to find out that she earned $11.82 too much to qualify for assistance from another local agency.
“I’m 65 years old, and I was struggling … I can’t even tell you what I’ve been through.” Assistance from the Fund was “very heartwarming … I totally was touched,” she added.
About the Fund
The Record’s People for People Fund is supported through voluntary donations from community and religious groups, businesses and mostly individuals, with dedicated volunteers working tirelessly with recipients each step of the way. To learn more about contributing, volunteering or applying for help from The Record’s People for People Fund, call 845-343-1663. Donations by check can be mailed to People for People Fund, c/o First Federal Savings of Middletown, P.O. Box 2023, Middletown, NY 10940. Donations by credit card can be made via The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan NY at cfosny.org, by searching for Record’s People for People Fund.