Letter From Sandra Depew

Sandra Depew is a former Veteran caregiver of Raymond Depew, who passed away in July 2018. NAAV provided assistance with utilities, washer and dryer, property taxes, and food for the past two years before his death. In September 2018 NAAV was able to get a new water heater for Mrs. Depew, with no labor for installation for the sponsor of NAAV, Inc.  


To Constance Burns and your organization:


Once again I called upon you for help and you didn’t shut me out. Wanted to say thank you so much for everything you did and all your hard work that you put in. You are so appreciated. You advised me on how to apply for widow benefits from the VA, which I had no knowledge about, no matter what the outcome will be, it is still worth trying for. My water heater quit working and it was 24 years old. Nearly a month went by, I had no hot water. I was heating up water on the stove top burners to bathe, do dishes, and all laundry in cold wash.

I’m a widow of a deceased Veteran. When he died, my life completely changed. Together we were financially stable, although we still fell on hard times because his income was stretched to the limit. I did have a short-term job at McDonald’s, but I quit because his medical condition was getting worse, and I needed to stay home all the time as his caregiver because he needed my help along with hospice.

            I also learned, while my husband was sick and I was working at McDonald’s, that my brother, who was 53, died of an accidental overdose in St. Louis city. Being alone, a widow, and very little money to survive on and without his financial support. I was left behind in a financial hardship that anxiety, stress, and depression. I put some calls out there myself, but couldn’t get any help for the water heater, because I didn’t have any money to pay for one and everything involves the work of a water heater. I could not find any resources for low-income families and people that have nothing at all. There are also charges for a service call for someone to look at it.

            When my husband, Raymond, died, my charter services were suspended, which included TV, internet, and home phone, and an unpaid bill still due for $277.89. I had to get a cell phone for communication and emergency services and a TV antenna. You made it possible and got me the help I needed, which included a tax-deductible, free labor, connections, water heater, and taking out the old heater, and $20 for over-the-counter cold meds. I hope that more donors give and support your program and continue to give so your doors can stay open, because it is very important that others get help. Many people are hurting and need help and can’t get it and that no one is left behind. Because without the support and importance of giving, this organization will not be able to move forward and continue to grow and help others like myself.

            Several months ago I began using a public shuttle bus to get to places. There is a cost for bus passes. So I no longer have to walk everywhere, find rides, and pay someone for expensive rides. This service is limited, it only goes so far, northbound one direction and southbound the other direction, does not service on the weekends because I don’t have a vehicle. Once again, thank you so very much.

—Mrs. Sandra Depew, October 3, 2018

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