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Stories of Hope and Courage

A big chicken in the pot

A big chicken in the potPaul is a civil engineer in his fifities who lost his job in 2009 due to a down-sizing event at his company.  For years he had worked successfully on many major construction projects that are well known throughout Central Florida. 

As the breadwinner of his single-income family of four, Paul immediately began looking for a similar position with other firms.  No luck.  He came close to being hired a few times, but for more than three years he became one of the many unemployment ‘numbers’ that we so often hear about.  

During that time, Paul’s wife Judie went to work as an insurance biller, but the income wasn’t nearly the same as before.  The family lost their home of fifteen years to foreclosure, and basically found themselves homeless.  While they managed to stay with friends for many months at a time, it wasn’t possible to keep the entire family in one place.  

Paul and son Ray lived in one location, while Judie and daughter Dominique in another.  Finally, and with the help of their Church, the family managed to find a home to rent that could be covered by Judie’s paycheck.  Still, there was very little money left over for basic things like food.   

To help get them through the tough times, Paul and his family turned to the Christian Help Foundation.  Supplied with food by Second Harvest Food Bank, this wonderful organization provided the food staples the family needed to stay strong and together.   

Judie says  “I stressed and cried and didn’t know how it would all work, but at the end of the day you wind up with a big chicken in the pot, and that’s all that matters.”  After years of applying for dozens of positions, Paul finally found a job in his field in 2012.  Judie works as well, serving as receptionist at Second Harvest Food Bank.  An example of a family whose faith and perseverance allowed them to outlast a tough economic challenge.  With the help of a caring community.      

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