GEORGIA – In the greater Atlanta area, Robin and Debbie are a husband and wife trying to do right by their community and their family. Robin is a firefighter for the Metro Atlanta Fire Department and owns a small taxidermy business; Debbie is the main caregiver for her own family, as well as her two brothers and her mother.
Debbie’s brothers and mother have a rare, hereditary neurological disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT). Over time, an individual with CMT experiences increased weakness, balance and/or orthopedic problems and the inability to use one’s hands effectively.
Caring for two growing sons and three disabled family members became a heavy burden for Robin and Debbie when they took on Debbie’s brothers and mother several years ago. There were times the couple wondered where the family’s next meal would come from and how medical expenses, as well as basic necessities, would be covered. Debbie also suffers from CMT, though not as severely as her mother and brothers. Still, going to the store and doing other daily activities is a lot for her body to handle.
Debbie was referred to United Food Force, a local Operation Blessing partner that provides food and other basic necessities to individuals and families in need. Once she began receiving assistance from United Food Force, the burden of providing food for her family was lifted.
“It’s a relief,” she said. “I don’t have to worry about whether or not we’re going to have dinner tonight. It makes a big difference in my family’s life.”
Debbie and Robin were perhaps most surprised by the quality and quantity of food and household items provided by United Food Force. “Another thing that I thought was awesome was to get hygiene products…adult diapers, things that you know are very expensive to buy,” she said. Her family is blessed so much that they turn around and donate the food and other items which are beyond their needs to other families in their community.
With the help of OBI partner United Food Force, Robin and Debbie can feed their family and Debbie’s disabled family members without falling behind on paying important bills.
“I used to go to bed hungry a lot of nights when I was living at home,” Debbie said. “It makes a big difference to know that I’m not having to do that with my kids now.”