I am 59 years old and living a life more comfortable than I was living five years ago thanks to Barbara Ann Dublin, the staff, volunteers and associates with the Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries, Inc. GWIM.

Approximately seven years ago, I found myself living in a tent and diagnosed with Parkinson’s hypertension and continuous blood clots, all for which I need to take an assortment of medications.

The combination of these medications would make me intensely sick to my stomach if not taken with food and since my budget did not allow me to purchase much food, I would not take the medications in lieu of the side of effects just making my illnesses worsen.

I lived a good life for most of my adulthood, until one day the company I worked for closed their doors with little notice.

After a period of time of trying to find a job and living off my savings, I was homeless, sick and hungry. Temperatures were dropping and my tent, I now called home on the side of the railroad tracks, offered no means of preparing or storing a meal. Then, as I continued to search for some type of improvement in my life, on what I would call the coldest day of the year, I met Barbara Ann and she showed instant interest of my well being and took the time on a windy street to explain GWIM’S Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry that she directed, with the help of others, that GWIM provides for the misfortunate of Waterbury and surrounding towns. They provide daily hot lunches and a food pantry to help with those in-between times.

Immediately, I found myself at 770 East Main Street where GWIM is located and within that day’s lunch bell, I left with a warm meal in my stomach and an emergency bag of food in tow. The medications I so needed to take were less of a nightmare now.

I really never got the chance to thank Barbara Ann, but my inner faith was going to change that. Now feeling stronger and with the assistance of others, I was able to obtain an apartment above the GWIM Soup Kitchen.

Once again, Barbara Ann and GWIM came to my rescue, as I was moving in with very little that I was able to obtain, she helped me with receiving all bathroom needs, sheets, blankets, towels and pillows. I felt I was getting my life back and making new friends with Barbara Ann and the staff.

Soon feeling like a whole person again, I felt the need to give back to GWIM and the needs of others.

One day I offered Barbara Ann my time to help out with the Food Pantry Consumer’s Choice Day on the last Monday of the month, and who knew still until this day, years later, I am assisting the Food Pantry.

Thanks to Barbara Ann and GWIM for helping me achieve success and life altering improvements and especially allowing me to assist in enhancing the lives of others.

This story was written by Don J on June 03, 2019 and Don died on June 17, 2019