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Working Through a Tough Economy

This News Note is available in packets of 100 and packets of 1000.

      For months, Jackie Hopkins, a purchasing supervisor for a manufacturing company, has dreaded payday. Watching co-workers getting laid off, she wonders if it will be her turn next. “You try to let the company know that you’re rooting for them, but deep down inside, it’s like, ‘Oh my God, what am I going to do when I’m on the unemployment line?’”

      Her husband, a welder, is out of work and their home is in foreclosure. She tries to stay positive, but it’s hard while worrying about making ends meet. “This is something that consumes my whole life,” Hopkins says. “It’s all I think about.”


Facing hard times

      There’s no sugar-coating hard times. “I am not sure we learned anything useful,” Sister Lois Spear wrote in America magazine, recalling her childhood in the Great Depression. “I do not believe we were strengthened morally.  Millions of people lost their jobs with the concomitant loss of human dignity and the ability to support their families.”

      It’s a tragic lesson that many are learning today.  For Ruthie Stone and her family from Columbus, Ohio, hard times are a shock.  “We’re just a regular middle-class family in a suburban neighborhood.  We could never have imagined we’d end up like this.”  She and her husband lost their jobs and are barely managing to hold on to their home. They rely on food pantries, food stamps and family to make it.  “No one wants to borrow money from mom and dad,” Stone adds.  “But with no money, we can’t handle the unexpected.  We’re surviving day to day.”    

      The first lesson to learn in hard economic times is that “rugged individualism” is a myth.  We need to know how to help each other – and how to be helped.

      I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.    Luke 11:9