An open “Thank You” letter to fellow Americans

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To my fellow Americans,

Some of you hate me. I’ve met you, and we’ve spoken about the reason why online numerous times on many different forums. You think I’m a bum, a mooch, a worthless leech on your hard-earned tax dollars.

Well, I want to say “thank you”.

It’s thanks to your support through the taxes you paid that my fiancee and I were able to receive the SNAP benefits that helped us afford to buy nutritious meals to sustain us when we fell on hard times. Your small contribution to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helped bring nutritious food to our table, sustaining our health and even helping us feel better emotionally. If it wasn’t for your help, we would have gotten physically sick living on literally nothing but ramen noodles and whatever expired food we could get from generous donors.

And thanks to your help, we are doing well enough now that we can cancel our SNAP benefits. Sincerely, thank you for helping us to reach this point.

Contrary to what many people online seem to think, we were not jobless, lazy bums. Through no fault of our own, my fiancee and I suddenly found ourselves unemployed. I, because of my health failing me (I’ll get into that in another blog post at some point, but it is a serious, debilitating diagnosis), and my fiancee because his employers lost a contract and his hours were cut so much his paychecks were no longer sustainable. When money became too tight for us to afford to pay the bills and still eat nutritious meals, I applied for Food Stamps (SNAP), and we were approved within a couple of weeks.

It was terrifying. Suddenly, we were broke. We were lucky to have ten dollars in the bank, and some days we were even in the red. My fiancee worked hard to try and find better employment. He got a temp job, thankfully, but he was let go after only about a month working there. The temp agency found another job for him, a few weeks later. That job proved to be a joke. It’s so tempting to trash the company name for the way they treated their employees, but I will spare them for now as this is not the focus of this letter. (You can always ask in the comments if you’re curious. I’ll gladly give more details.) He worked for them for about a month, and they abandoned all of their employees after losing a contract. My fiancee was suddenly without work again. We were lucky to have a friend with influence at a local factory, and he helped my fiancee get hired on there, only missing about a week of work in between employment. The hours were long, 12-hour shifts, and the factory work took some getting used to, but he persevered and continues to work there to this day. We are both very grateful for his new paychecks. We have been able to get bills caught up, and now we can actually even afford to satisfy SOME wants as well as all of our needs. On top of that, I may be approved for disability soon, due to my poor health mentioned briefly earlier. We should have a determination decision within a week or so. My fingers are crossed.

Thanks to that, we can now afford to close out SNAP benefits, and I say that with sincere gratitude to all of my fellow Americans, whose tax dollars have come together to help fund programs like this. If it wasn’t for your help, our kitchen shelves would have been barren. We would have been living off of expired food donations and ramen noodles, and pathetically begging friends and family for money. Even though SNAP only gave us $190.00 to last the entire month, your generosity saved us physical distress from malnutrition, and heartache from living in pathetic conditions.

Thank you. I mean that.

You may still harbor ill opinions of me or other Americans who reach out and ask for help, and I probably can’t change your stubborn minds, but I do want you to know that I appreciate your contributions. Yes, there ARE some people out there scamming the system, but for the most part, SNAP is granted to people like me who really needed the help. You may not realize it, but food stamps are not easy to apply for. They work very hard to weed out people who may just be lazy, so there is a lot of bureaucracy and running around to deal with in order to get approved. Some scammers still get through, sadly, but please reconsider your anger towards the SNAP program and those benefiting from it. My life might look much different right now if it weren’t for the help we received.

So, thank you.

– Sunny

2 thoughts on “An open “Thank You” letter to fellow Americans

  1. I hear you. Until January 2016 I was a well paid IT Manager. Then the downsizing came and as it came so I went (poetic, eh?). Three days later I was told that I needed an eye operation because I was going blind. Just great! Well, I am still unemployed (people do not seem keen on hiring a 52 year old in Australia – apparently I am a dinosaur). This is despite 35 years experience and 4 university degrees. But one day I will get a new job, I feel it in my bones. So will you. Ignore those who would criticize, for they are self-righteous and know not what it is like. And when things do get better, don’t be like them. Good luck 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading this and sharing your story as well! Unfortunately, my health will never be good enough for me to attain gainful employment. My condition is “Panhypopituitarism”, which is congenital and does cause health to deteriorate over time despite treatments to control it. I’ve dealt with a lot of guilt and self-loathing because I’m unable to work, but I’m finally starting to accept that my life is just going to be a little different than that of a normal person, and that’s alright. 🙂

      Anyway, I hope that you can find work that will accept you at your age! I imagine it is hard to find a good paying job. I’m really wishing you luck there! Take care!

      Like

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