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Monday, September 3, 2012

Helping Your Neighbors in Ohio

When I first moved to Ohio, I was amazed at the number of fundraisers held at chain restaurants for local groups.   The first one I came in contact with was one at Fazoli's (a pasta/Italian chain....sort of like Italian does fast food) for the Cross Country team.  Coupons are printed, photocopies really, and then you go and eat and a percentage of your bill is donated to the cause which was promoted on your "coupon."

I was grateful for this "diversion" tonight as I am working madly on trying to finish up a couple of quilts.  Tonight was a fundraiser at Applebee's.  Rachel Stump, a 2012 graduate of Troy High School, was hit by a car her first weekend at Ohio State University.   She has traumatic brain injury and has been hospitalized since mid-August.

My daughter worked with her and her mom, both waitresses at the Piqua (OH) Country Club.  Rachel's parents were divorced, and I can't even begin to imagine the financial stress this would put on her addition to the emotional stress and fear she must have.  If you are a waitress, generally, you don't have health insurance through your work...but more importantly, if  you don't work, you don't get a pay check.  I hope that Rachel's father had insurance to cover her....but even so, she faces probably a year of rehabilitation, IF everything goes well for her.

She is out of the coma now, and is walking for short bits...and she has been "talking" and responds to questions, but this is going to be a long road for her.  Fortunately, she was a cheerleader and was in  good physical shape, so hopefully youth and her conditioning will help her on the path.  See all those papers in the woman wearing the Cincinnati Bengal's jersey? Those are receipts from people who ate at Applebee's today.  10% will go to help Rachel.  The other woman is wearing a "Pray for Rachel" t-shirt which are being sold to help out (I was told that they had gone through three printings of over 100 each time), and she also has a pink "Pray for Rachel" bracelet.

The community has pulled together for her.  This happens around here...I'm sure some people who deserve and need similar action fall through the cracks, but it is heartening when people do things like this.  In this area, people take missions (for Katrina, to help with Habitat for Humanity, and to help in underprivileged areas in the U.S. and abroad) quite a bit, far more than what I saw in Connecticut, although the Nutmegger's did some too...but it is very prevalent here.  Pretty cool. It would be great if more and more people did this.  Sometimes I think it would be great if we had mandatory two years of volunteering in some outreach programs in the U.S., just as military service is required in other countries.  I know it is an impossibility, but wouldn't it be great to work to make the world a better place?


kathy loomis said...

wouldn't it also be great if we had universal health coverage in the US so people could concentrate on recovery instead of becoming fulltime fundraisers?

Lisa Broberg Quintana said...

Amen to that, Kathy. I am in terrible fear of bankrupting my family as my husband lost his job in January and once COBRA runs out....well...since I am still getting cancer treatments, it is a reality for me. Kid in college and huge healthcare bills, and no income. Fun fun fun. No one can understand this unless they find themselves in this situation. The fact that I CAN'T get coverage because of pre-existing conditions throws me to the wolves...states vary on how they handle this, but private insurers can exclude me here. I have a friend who, according to the insurance industry, has no lungs.