GUIDED BY A VISION
Sofia* is a mom in the Lake Norman area and has a young child at home as well as a disabled spouse. She’s been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and squamous cell carcinoma of the left base of the tongue. Sofia is to begin concurrent chemoradiation for her squamous cell carcinoma and has a port and G-tube. Medical bills are “astronomical” with this diagnosis. Medications are out of pocket and unfortunately, head and neck cancers have very limited financial assistance or grant options. She doesn’t have insurance and is trying to get on Medicaid but Medicaid can only provide retroactive assistance.
Per Sofia, “I would be blessed by anything you can do to help me. I would use anything u can share to buy Motrin that seems small but to me a burden. To get to dr visits. And to help with medical bills and any prescriptions that are in my future.”
*Names and images have been changed for privacy.
A case worker explains “why” certain things are impactful – what it “means” for a family living in poverty to completely clear the balance on a utility.
"We know this because we see it and hear it every day, but in case you all come across a more fortunate person who thinks that something like a zero balance on a utility bill does not really illustrate the “wow” of the funds being donated – here is one way to consider it…Families in poverty frequently rely on a carefully orchestrated dance within their budgets. Because utilities tend to have some tolerance for manageable balances month to month, it is common to see less of the budget delegated to those bills over another – such as car insurance- has no tolerance for less than full payment. Obviously, this only works for so long before the “manageable” balance is over that limit and true crisis arises. When a family is able to apply say, $500.00 from AGSF to things like utilities, the relief can last for months because now they have that space for the balance “back” and can get by making partial payments on those types of bills, focus on “no tolerance” bills to avoid “cancellation”/repossession, etc., until they can regain more stability through resumption of work or Social Security Disability (SSD)."