Joy’s Story: Spreading Hope in Spencer County
Joy is a Southeast member who lives in Spencer County. Typically, one of her jobs with the Spencer County School District is to transport a blind child to and from the Kentucky School for the Blind each day. Because schools are not meeting in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Joy is serving the district in a different way—by joining two other drivers to deliver lunches to all of the kids on two bus routes.
This opportunity has allowed Joy to identify several homes that were hard-pressed before the outbreak, and are struggling even more now. Seeing this poverty, combined with the difficulty of the virus, Joy decided to find ways to help. Southeast’s food boxes were a wonderful first step. Once she thought of this idea, she asked other bus drivers and a few good friends in the community to help identify needs. So far, this research has identified at least 25 desperate situations.
Here are some of the stories she and her team have learned:
- A single dad is trying to raise six kids while holding a job as a firefighter. This dad is having to spend additional time away from his kids due to the current situation. A box of food, while a small token, opened the door for communication.
- A single mom who is working for low wages as a CNA trying to raise three kids alone was incredibly grateful for a box of food. Joy has enjoyed conversations with her and her girls since their first meeting delivering lunches and the food box.
- A father underwent abdominal surgery recently, with complications. His wife is trying to support the family single-handedly while he is still on a feeding tube.
- A small church that Southeast is connected to has run out of supplies in its pantry. Extra food boxes from Southeast helped the church continue to help a few of its most desperate members.
- A woman has been caring for children displaced without daycares. This woman said that the food box would help her keep the kids fed for another week.
- One couple, who both have cancer, are taking care of their grandson. The wife has stage 4 cancer and she is on chemo. Her husband is taking radiation treatments for his cancer.
- A widow, who just turned 81 this week, takes care of her grandchildren.
- The two bus drivers are still identifying needs that Joy was not aware of. The simple food boxes are becoming an explosion of good news in Spencer County.
Each day, more families are revealing that they have suddenly lost their jobs. The need is only going to grow in the next few days.
Joy and her team are being noticed for always being the last vehicle back after delivering lunches. While their route is long and difficult, all three drivers have started building relationships with the folks on the route. They are stopping to talk, to encourage, and to pray.