Tough economy turning donors into recipients

By Philippe Djegal - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - PATH says the increase in demand for services is staggering. This year, more than 800 new families have asked for help. And, those who once donated to PATH in the past are now clients.

She has a bad back, bad knees and is a breast cancer survivor.

"I had to have radiation treatments and it burned up my lungs," said Teree Loveless. "So, I have COPD and emphysema."

Loveless can't work and she is having a rough time paying her bills. In fact, when she came into PATH Thursday to pick up some food, she used an electricity bill as proof of residency, a requirement in order to receive services. When her coordinator found out the bill wasn't paid, he volunteered to take care of it for her.

"Knowing that someone genuinely cares means more than anything and they do," said Loveless.

She says it's tough asking for help, considering the fact that not long ago she donated money to PATH.

"It's hard," said Loveless. "It's really hard because there's so many people that need help."

People like Joyce Johnson.

"I had to leave everything," said Johnson. "I didn't have anything. [I left] just with the clothes on my back."

Three months ago, Johnson's husband pulled a gun on her. Although he didn't shoot, she took her autistic son and left him. But, with nowhere to go...

"PATH provided a home for me," said Johnson. "I didn't have any beds to sleep in. They gave me two king sized beds."

"They help everybody and they're so great here and they really need the help, and if I had the money to give them right now, I would give it gladly," said Loveless

"There are people like me that are in worse situations - some of them that need a place to stay," said Johnson. "If they close down PATH, that's going to close down a lot of things that help people."

"I know how it is to be in need," said Loveless. "I think we all do."

If you'd like to help save the organization, you can visit their web site and make a donation.

We've set up a link in our Big Red Box. Just go to our homepage, click on the Big Red Box, then find the link called "PATH".

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