Families Coping: Giving and receiving

By Lauren Lowrey - bio | email 

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - We continue following six families through these tough times, in hopes it will help you in some way. This time, we update Mary Ames' story.

She's 58-years old, single and unemployed, struggling to pay for basic necessities. With the little she has, she gives away. Her selflessness may be paying off.

You've heard the phrase "It's better to give than to receive." That's Mary Ames life story. "Me? I'm a giver. If I've got it, and I don't need it, it's gone. It's gone."

In the last few years, she's lost three jobs in company downsizing. She's sold almost everything she owns and burned through every penny of savings and retirement funds to survive. Ames continues to struggle to pay for medical needs without income or insurance.

In the midst of it all, she continues to give: her car, her time, and her food.

This time, Mary Ames is on the receiving end. A longtime friend saw her troubles and is sending her on a nine-day trip to Florida. The trip caps off a recent outpouring from friends and family, even anonymous donors who have heard her struggles and wanted to help. "I had monetary gifts that were sent to me, gift cards that were sent to me."

Ames tells us, "I'm still lacking in laundry soap and paper towels, so those are coming in from friends and people who know I still have those needs."

The donations helped her pay rent, even allowed her to spend $2 to wash clothes in her apartment's laundry room instead of her bathroom sink. "That proves to me that I'm doing the right thing because that's what I do. As bad as my situation is, I'm still giving. I'm still giving."

And she'll continue to.