By Fina Badolato For the Times Herald-Record

A car accident was the last thing this Orange County woman needed. Thankfully, she wasn’t injured, but this unwelcome event put quite a dent into her budget.

Getting to and from her job of 22 years was top priority. So despite a $1,000 insurance deductible to repair the damaged vehicle, she went ahead with getting it fixed. Extra hours at work had dried up, so meeting the household demands was going to be tight for a while.  She had always made it work – until now.

The woman figured out how to juggle most of the bills, except for two crucial ones: The mortgage and previously done dental work. Fortunately, she had dental insurance, but she was on an installment plan for the co-payments. And she wasn’t about to allow herself to lose the house she had worked so hard to purchase nearly two years ago, after having lived at her previous apartment for 16 years.

Meanwhile, another Orange County resident, a working single mother of a son, was also facing a financial crisis. She had always depended on seasonal extra work hours to help substantially with winter’s higher heating and electric bills, but those hours weren’t kicking in just yet. She commuted to work in New York City at her job of 32 years.

While grocery and gasoline prices continued to rise, so did her utility bill. Then an injury at work resulted in three months of reduced income. Still, she had been paying the utility bill on a fairly regular basis, having entered into an agreement with the electric provider.  But now that agreement was in default. She did not qualify for heating payment assistance from outside agencies.

This homeowner of seven years gave priority to paying the mortgage, knowing that her soon-to-come overtime hours at work would help catch her up with the utility bill. But until that time, this small family was in a financial bind.

People for People: Fund delivers financial help during times of hardship

Fortunately, both Orange County women were referred to the Times Herald-Record’s People for People Fund, which offers one-time assistance to qualified local people who have normally been self-supporting until an unexpected financial crisis hits.

The Fund – formed in 1985 by the Times Herald-Record and the Junior League of Orange County – has helped qualified residents of Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties in New York, and part of Pike County, Pa., get back on a path to stability.

Thanks to the generosity of donors to the People for People Fund, these two local people were able to get through a difficult time and back to stability – one received a grant to pay a month’s mortgage, and the other received a grant toward her utility bill, starting a new payment agreement with the electric provider.

The People for People Fund offers a one-time grant to steadily employed local people who have normally been self-supporting until an unexpected financial emergency arises.  To learn more, call 343-1663, or to donate online, visit, and click on Donate, where you’ll be taken to the Fund’s donation page at the Community Foundation of Orange & Sullivan website.