Dear Mr. President and Congress,
Sorry I don’t know all of you by name, I’m not politically educated like some of my friends and family, but you see, Mr. Obama and Congress I’ve been a little busy these past couple years, I am a stay-at-home Mother to 5 wonderful children, ages 3 months to 7 years.
My husband Joshua Gillette works at GSA, he buys computer equipment and from what I understand he loves his job and he’s darn good at it. He is proud he can provide for his, larger than normal, family and we have never been on food stamps and while we scrap by we are happy. We don’t have car payments, or cable, we have an internet phone line which cost us $30 a year. We have cut so many corners in our budget, it is now round. But there’s one thing we NEED in our budget…it’s an INCOME. An income my husband wants to work hard to earn.
On Friday we went to our bank, we had received only 6 days on Joshua’s paycheck. With October Mortgage looming over our heads and multiple bills due we broke down and cashed in our children’s savings bonds we bought to help with college expenses, (knowing by the time they’re in college, financial assistance will probably not exist). We were humiliated as we handed over the bonds in our children’s names. I had to steal my children’s future…but I guess in Congress that might not mean much to you, you seem to vote on bills every day that steal parts of their future. The national debt is out of control and while I agree with the concept of Obamacare I think it needs some serious reworking…but shutting down the government or should I say SHUTTING DOWN MY FAMILY is not the answer.
My children need winter clothes and I have no money to provide that right now, even though the Missouri weather is turning crisp. I tell my oldest 2 to make sure they eat all their lunch at school because I know dinner will be sparse. We don’t go to the YMCA for me to work out or the kids to play because it’s located a town over and we simply can’t afford to waste any gas. My husband is humiliated he has to file for unemployment and food stamps. We’ve asked family for help but most of them are in their own financial hardships due to the continuing sluggish economy. My youngest brother was let go from his job this past Tuesday, but has agreed to loan us money as long as we pay him back when we get back on our feet.
I went to the grocery store today, Aldi’s because it’s known for cheap food. I bought bread, milk, pasta, and other things for dinners for 5 nights and my total came to $39 and all I had on me was $35. I cried as I looked in my grocery cart trying to find any "non-essential" item but knowing everything I picked out was carefully placed in my cart as a key ingredient for a meal. I chose to put back 2 boxes of cereal and butter, but held my head down in shame and wouldn’t make eye contact with the people behind me as the manager was called over to override the return. I was humiliated.
Please work together to end this shutdown and let 800,000 government workers return to their jobs which you might consider "non-essential" but which are indeed essential to their families. This is the faces you’re hurting Mr. President and Congress…these are my children.