Local families depend on charity organizations

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, December 24, 2008

People who give to charities rarely see the faces of people who benefit from their generosity.

Donna Caudle of Verbena is one of those faces. Since losing her daughter in a family tragedy about a year ago, Caudle has received assistance from the Chilton County Emergency Assistance Center.

Monday she walked into the center and picked up three teddy bears to give her 12-year-old adopted daughter for Christmas.

“Christmas morning my little girl wasn’t going to have nothing,” Caudle said. “I don’t know what I would do without this place.”

Sometimes people encounter difficulty trying to get assistance after a family loss because when they try to convert capital, it appears that they have more expendable income than they really have, Center Executive Director Terry Collier said. He calls this the “whiplash effect.”

If the center is unable to offer someone immediate assistance, they point them to other agencies that they may or may not know about, such as the local food stamp office.

“People who benefit from food stamps or SSI can come here every three months for assistance,” Collier said.

Caudle, who receives food stamps, said the center is the only place she goes to ask for necessities. If not for the center, people like Caudle would not get to enjoy a holiday meal.

“Whatever they put in the food box is what we will have for Christmas,” she said. “It doesn’t matter (what it is), as long as it’s Christmas.”