Linda and her Robert moved to Cape Cod four years ago from western Massachusetts. She was pregnant with her second child and didn’t want to raise her kids in a city that she considered a bad area. Her husband, Frank, already had a full-time job cleaning and maintaining pools on Cape Cod and commuted for two years before they were able to find a rental for their family. They feel extremely lucky to have found a five-bedroom apartment in a duplex that they rent from an elderly couple. “It was so amazing to find this place. It works for both our landlords and us to be here,” Linda said.
Linda was working “full-time”—about 80 hours a week—managing a motel that had year-round tenants. She met Gennie at Lower Cape Outreach Council (LCOC) through there. She was able bring her kids—in a double stroller—with her as she worked cleaning the rooms, doing laundry, ordering supplies and making sure things were running smoothly. The owner had fallen sick and depended on her to keep things going. On her son’s first day of school, the hotel was sold, and she was out of a job.
She said, “Linda calmed me down. I was worried about our upcoming heating bills, electric and oil, because the second floor of our apartment isn’t insulated. One less paycheck was going to hurt. She hooked me up with the local food bank and even the Christmas gift program for the kids. She made sure our kids got what they needed for a nice Christmas.”
Additionally, Linda had been sick with cancer for five years and during this time she suffered several miscarriages. Her immune system was shot from the drug regimen, working, and keeping her family together. She needed surgery as the drugs had not arrested the cancer. When her son was four, she was given a small window by the doctors to have another child before they did life-saving surgery. Unbelievably, she got pregnant with her daughter in one month and proceeded to have a healthy red-haired little girl. Her family was complete. She was scheduled for a total hysterectomy, and after a delay due to the coronavirus, she had the needed surgery in August.
She and her husband decided to homeschool the kids when school started in the fall, so that they wouldn’t be exposed, or expose Linda to, COVID or any of a myriad of other illnesses. LCOC also provided pencils, paper, craft kits and a laptop and printer for her older son to do his schoolwork. “Not only have they provided help for my family, but Gennie has been there for me to talk to as I made decisions about my health. I was so comfortable speaking with her about these huge decisions I had to make, and she really listened,” said Linda.
“No matter what my darkest time was these past two years, I knew I could count on Gennie and LCOC to help me or know where I could go for help. I never felt alone,” said Linda.
“We think so much of LCOC and we were excited that my daughter was on the cover of the annual report,” she added. “Their support and help gave my husband and I hope that we could get through these times of my health issues coupled with our financial worries and the health issues all around us. We are so grateful.”