Although he probably didn’t originate the phrase, President Ronald Reagan often said, “We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”
This was a similar goal when Brightseasons was founded in 2017 with their mission statement of: “To help those who are going through a tough season in any way we can in the hopes they will pay it forward one day.”
They also adopted the motto, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Their efforts are by no means singularly focused. They’ve helped pay for car repairs, covered a month or two of payments for someone who might otherwise face foreclosure or eviction, delivered hot meals to a family where illness has struck, put together school supply drives, and much more.
Each individual or family has unique aspects to their story and a recent one was particularly poignant. The single mother with the three-year-old son approached them at the suggestion of someone who knew the difficult daily burden she bore, a house she could no longer afford on her own when her circumstances changed as the pandemic took hold. A mother with cancer she’s helping.
Working two jobs and renting out the only spare room.
Living paycheck-to-paycheck with no margin as prices rise or unexpected expenses hit. There was also knowing her son’s upcoming fourth birthday meant no presents and perhaps not even a decorated cake, even though that was all he asked for.
As Michelle Dulevich, who established Brightseasons with her husband and small group of friends, spoke with her to determine what assistance they could provide, the young woman’s response was one they hadn’t heard before. She said, "Honestly, I'm not behind on anything.
I get paid every two weeks.
I pay what I can and then I figure out what I need and I drive for Lyft until I get it." She adds in that third job when she has to because, "The scariest thing for me is to know that there isn't any food in the fridge and know he's going to be hungry soon. But I always make it happen."
In talking through how she manages, she said, "I just need to breathe. I haven't put my son to bed in a while and I'm just overwhelmed.”
Dulevich explained the solution they came up with for immediate relief and a cushion against that next inevitable extra expense.
“A check for $1,000, gift cards to Winn Dixie for food for the month, a $100 gift card to Walmart (for that birthday cake and anything else she may need). We also sent her a few gifts to wrap up to make sure this little boy had a great 4th birthday!”
As glad as they were to be able to help this situation, it’s been busy on numerous fronts. “All in all, we've spent more money these past few months than since we started this organization. And we couldn't be happier! ALWAYS provides every time we need it. We are so thankful for all the people who support us year-round. There's no way we could do it without their help.”
To learn more about Brightseasons or contact them, go to https://brightseasons.org or find them on Facebook.