NEWPORT, Pa. – Alivia knows about good investments, spending and saving, and balancing checkbooks. For years the single mom of three had made a good living working at a local bank, while also volunteering her extra time at a local food pantry to help those less fortunate.
But she was not prepared for the deficit of health and hunger that would soon strike her and her family.
A few years ago, Alivia began experiencing serious medical problems, but her doctors were unable to diagnose the condition. “I didn’t understand why I was sick,” she said. “There were days when I would go to step out of bed and I would collapse to the floor.”
As her health declined, Alivia became unable to work, and she soon found herself struggling not only to get well, but to provide for her little ones without a steady income.
“Just because I couldn’t walk, just because I was in the hospital for months at a time, the bills didn’t stop, the mortgage didn’t stop,” she said.
So Alivia turned to the Operation Blessing-supported food pantry where she had spent so many hours helping others, and this time she asked for help herself. “It got to the point where I needed the food pantry to survive,” she said.
There she received the groceries and household supplies she needed to put food on the table for her children.
“If it wouldn’t have been for the food pantry and Operation Blessing, we wouldn’t have had anything.”
Eventually, Alivia’s medical condition was diagnosed and before long her physicians were able to get it under control. Alivia was able to get her former job back, and once again began volunteering at her local food pantry—unloading supplies from Operation Blessing trucks and organizing food distributions with a new understanding of the struggle that families around her were facing.
“I wasn’t grateful for life every day before,” Alivia said, “and now I am.”