When I was a child, I always remember looking in awe at my Mum’s jewelry box – especially whenever she was getting ready for a party. I am famous in my home for losing things, so I was NEVER allowed to borrow anything – but I loved those moments of helping her pick out which earrings would go with which bracelet to go with which dress. I remember begging her to let me get my ears pierced so I could start wearing her earrings. I remember helping my dad at the mall to pick out bracelets or rings as anniversary gifts each year. And I remember her explaining each gold charm on her bracelet that my grandma had given to her. But my favorite items were always her necklaces. She wore the chain necklaces every single day without fail – gold links around her neck that are now a permanent part of her attire. Last year, both of my parents let me pick out one of their gold items to keep. Now, every day, I wear two gold chains – one belonging to my Mum, and one to my Dad. Somehow, those gold chains seem to solidify my place in the family… each of us matching.
Shanasa is a woman just like my mother. She cares for two children alongside her loving husband and has always loved her gold jewelry, each precious item gifted to her by family members. I have no doubt that she expected to one day pass those prized pieces on to her kids for them to enjoy, but then her husband got sick. In the midst of the pandemic, they discovered he had mouth cancer. Money had been tight for Shanasa’s family since the COVID outbreak began. Work was scarce. They live in a simple home in a small town, but with less work due to lockdown restrictions, and the added expense of medical treatment, things became very hard.
And so, for her family, Shanasa parted with her gold jewelry. She sold it at a local pawn shop and used the money to pay for her husband’s treatment. But it wasn’t enough. Shanasa’s husband passed away one year ago.
Now, Shanasa works as a day laborer, doing everything she can to keep food in her kids’ bellies and to ensure they can keep the home they worked so hard to earn. This strong mother works long days in fields under the hot Indian sun, and often goes to sleep without eating. She spent many months lying in bed each night, grieving her husband, and worrying about the future of her family.
But thankfully, hope stepped in. One morning, Shanasa awoke to a knock at the door by one of our community health workers. Our team had heard from others in the village about her loss and arranged for food supplies to be delivered. Tears of joy came from Shanasa’s eyes as she shared her story with the women in our team. They promised to bring food each week to ensure they never went to bed hungry again. The food packs & nutritional supplements will ensure her children grow up healthy and that Shanasa has the strength to keep working to earn what they need to pay the bills.
YOUR generosity did this! Because of your kindness, Shanasa and many other parents just like her feel peace and hope knowing that they are cared for by a global community. Their kids will never go hungry, but they also will always know that they matter and that they have a network of support when things get hard. That’s whole care for the whole community, a gift so much more beautiful than any gold jewelry.