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Stuart’s Hope Story: Being Present

Stuart has led a pretty rough life; however, his smile wouldn’t lead on to all of his trials. I’m his case manager and we meet once a month.

See, Stuart was diagnosed with bi-polar years ago, but struggled to afford his medications. He has instead learned to regulate himself to the best of his abilities. He was on disability for over a year when it was revoked suddenly. It put him extremely behind on his bills. He told me that when he worked, he worked to the furthest of his ability.

The problem that was plaguing Stuart was that a severe medical condition left him breathless and exhausted after a few moments of labor. He shared that he used to think of himself as worthless, and that he had never amounted to anything. We discussed low impact job options and financial strategies.

After we spoke for about an hour, he smiled. He explained that his new philosophy is that it doesn’t matter what a person does for a living, or how much money they make. What matters is the interactions between people – being present. He knew that he had touched many people who were at their lowest and helped bring them a small amount of hope. Just seeing Stuart light up our office as he stops to talk with those we serve, I have seen bring smiles to neighbors in need many times.

This philosophy is not too far off from what we do at Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas each day; even when we are unable to assist financially or with tangible goods, we are still able to touch the lives of those we serve, and to bring them hope.

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