It doesn’t take much for a person to slip into poverty. Sharmane Kerr found that out after she had to stop working due to injuries suffered in a three-car pile-up in June. Constant pain made work impossible for the single mother of three.
Even though she is on Employment Insurance, the reduction in income — down to about half of what she was making — means there is little left over after the rent and utility bills are paid.
“All the money is gone in a couple of days,” said Kerr, 49. “For the first time in my life, I had to go to the food bank this month.”
The Times Colonist Christmas Fund means she can buy enough groceries to cook a decent Christmas dinner for three teenage boys. The three will also receive gift vouchers to purchase a gift to put under the tree for each sibling.
“It’s a lot harder on the boys,” Kerr said. “They were used to me working and being able to give them an allowance and buy things. Now we don’t have any money left over to go to a movie or watch a game.”
This is the first time she has had to look to charity, but she is optimistic that things will work out as soon as she can get back to work.
Kerr, who suffered a broken pelvis, nerve damage and one leg temporarily shorter than the other as a result of the accident, is surprisingly optimistic.
“I am lucky that all the physiotherapy is paid for,” she said. She currently goes to two aquatherapy sessions and one physiotherapy treatment every week.
While her injuries were significant, she suspects they were exacerbated due to another auto accident she was in when she was 22. It took her five years to fully recover from that incident.
It didn’t take much to slip into poverty, but Kerr won’t let the automobile accident spoil the holidays for her boys, as she plans what to cook for Christmas dinner.
She hopes she will not need help again, but for now, the food voucher in the Times Colonist Christmas Fund promises to make the holidays a lot brighter for the family.
Many people have given money this year, but more donations would help ensure that everyone in need receives assistance.
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