UNITED STATES – Imagine, one moment you’re going to work, playing with your children, and enjoying life. Then, suddenly life as you know it changes forever. In the blink of an eye, you feel your face become numb, your limbs begin to weaken. You can’t seem to understand what anyone around you is saying. Nor can you utter the words to say the things you’re experiencing. Your worst fears are confirmed. You’ve suffered a stroke. Now imagine that this terrible experience happens twice to the same family in a decade—to a mother and daughter who desperately need outside help.
That’s the reality sisters Charlotte and Tanya faced. Although their shared experience was a tragedy, the healing power of community and food built a closer bond for this family. The ordeal would also prove to be a triumph over the tragedy of hunger.
Health Issues Create Hunger Crisis
Nine years ago Tanya, a single mother, suffered a stroke that left her in need of love and support. Her sister Charlotte stepped in and did her best to help Tanya and her children. This was no easy feat, as it sometimes meant the needs of Charlotte’s own household weren’t completely met. And then, just as Charlotte began to hit her stride in her career, tragedy struck the family again.
“It went really fast,” said Charlotte as she recounted the day their mother suffered a stroke. “In April she woke up one morning and said, ‘Hand me that.’ I thought she was talking about her toothbrush, but she looked at it like she had no earthly idea what it was.”
After her mother’s hospital stay and rehabilitation, Charlotte was left to pick up the pieces. Home alone with her mother, who could no longer move or advocate for herself, Charlotte knew it would be impossible to balance work and care for her mom, so she made the difficult decision to quit the job she loved.
You Help Provide Food for a Family in Need
Now needing to help her mother and her sister without employment of her own, she was close to being overwhelmed. “Worrying about food was the thing I thought was going to tip me over.” For many Americans, the loss of income leads to food insecurity issues and the tragedy of hunger.
As it turned out, although Charlotte was giving up something she loved, she gained so much more. DC Church receives food deliveries for their food pantry from Operation Blessing. Your support provides a wide array of healthy foods that nourish the body and feed the soul.
Charlotte received a flyer about the food pantry at her church. She said, “I think at first I was going to be a little too proud, but the name alone, Operation Blessing, it was like a light went off for me—that this is your blessing you need right now.”
The outpouring of generosity by donors like you helped provide blessings beyond measure for this family. “You have meats, you have your fruits and vegetables, you have snacks,” said Charlotte. “I’m making soups now.”
Triumph Over The Tragedy Of Hunger
Through this shared experience of dealing with sickness and avoiding the tragedy of hunger, Charlotte renewed her relationship with God, her family, and her neighbors.
She and her family offered immense gratitude to you. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” said Charlotte. “You have no idea how it has made a difference in my life. When you’re entrusted to take care of somebody, and you walk into your kitchen and you don’t have anything—the rock that sits in your stomach, the doubts that go through your mind. When an organization like Operation Blessing steps up and goes, ‘Hey, I can help you through this time’ it means everything.”
Thank you so much for being an important part of Charlotte and Tanya’s story and for giving food to the hungry—both in the U.S. and around the globe.