Holiday Appeal from Deb Eck

The following letter is an appeal for money by Deb Eck, a resident and leader when shale gas companies ordered the Riverdale Mobile Home Park eviction in 2012. Please find it in your heart to make a kind donation to the Eck family as they struggle through a difficult winter. Donations are not tax-deductible and are sent directly to Deb via PayPal. Deb is seeking at least $600 to pay her lot rent, electric, and phone bill for December that allows her to do reports for work at her computer and have a phone for emergencies. Any amount over that will help ease the situation during the holidays for her and the girls.

Hello all,

First let me say I wanted to tell you all how very much I appreciated everyone of you who came to help with whatever you could while we attempted to fight to stay in the wonderful community of Riverdale. We enjoyed the time that we had getting to be with such wonderful people.

I wanted to let everyone know how we have been since the eviction. We moved our trailer just north of Jersey Shore to the Salladasburg Area.

Strange how we brought our home here and put everything back into it pretty much in the same place as it was and yet still after two years does not really feel like home.

Our neighbors aren't very neighborly for the most part, they all keep pretty much to themselves. Still, we have managed to make a few new friends. I should say the girls did the work. Anyone who has children would know that when you are a parent that is usually how it works.

The girls got to stay in their original elementary school from when we lived at Riverdale. That was the main reason I settled on this spot. We have a nice large lot for our trailer right along Larry’s Creek. The girls swam quite a bit during the summers.

The area is woodsy (I managed to get three ticks this past summer) and mainly quiet. Unless we listen for it or before we go to sleep at night, the traffic from the highway isn't too bad. Maybe we have just adapted.

The girls have now gone on to middle school in Jersey Shore. I am
Amanda and Chevelle during the Riverdale eviction (July 2012)
proud to report that other than a few hiccups they have very good grades--not bad considering they are now just turned 13. Amanda made either high honor roll or regular honor roll every marking period last school year and reports just came out and she made honor roll this marking period as well. Chevelle did not make honor roll first and third nine weeks but did make it the second and last. She is repeating that cycle again this school year I think.

The girls and I had a fairly nice summer here although with my
working in excess of 65 hours most weeks I didn't get to spend much time enjoying the weather or unpacking the rest of our boxes. I still have some to unpack. Time flies when you're working so much but it was what I had to do. This past summer has been a bit different.

I was employed with a retail store while we were living at Riverdale. After being store manager for almost three years I was surprised on November 18th 2013 when told I was no longer doing a satisfactory job and was immediately let go. I had no clue that was coming, I had received good performance reviews up until that time.

I filed for unemployment and although my employer attempted to fight it, I was awarded it because based on my performance reviews they could not show that I had not done the best job I could.
I collected unemployment for a few months and during that time I became a Grammy for the first time. My grandson Caleb Robert is now six months old and is just the sweetest little blessing.

I am now working with a company that I worked for years ago
while we lived at Riverdale the first couple of years. I enjoyed the work and when it was plentiful it was enough to pay the bills, not much left over but we managed. It was all I could find at the time.

I have applied to many different companies for better employment but as yet nothing has been offered.
I thought I would be able to make it work for a little while until something else came along that would afford the rent here. Little did I know that unemployment these days only lasts 26 weeks. I have only been unemployed one other time in my adult life… 20 years ago… The lot rent here is $365.00 a month. The lot rent at Riverdale was $200. Quite a bit of a jump but with my salary at the retail store I could easily afford it—at least until I was fired.

I was bringing home about $2000.00 a month then. Now my income is less than half of that. Most of the time my bi weekly pay is under $400.00. My hours with my current employer have been cut almost in half in the last few months. Summer time there is enough work to manage to pay the bills but that is it. I applied for food stamps and fuel assistance. At least we can eat and heat the house.

Unfortunately I can't use food stamps to pay the light bill or the other household bills. I am having trouble paying the lot rent now. I have stopped the cable television and lost my cell phone. The electric bill is behind but at this point not in danger--yet.

I can't lose the house phone and internet though because although it isn't much pay, the work I currently perform is internet based and the fact that we live so far out of town in an emergency we would have no way to call anyone for help.

Come December 2nd, I am not going to be able to cover the rent, phone/internet.  I will have only one pay before that happens and it is not even enough to cover just the rent. I keep telling myself that this time of the year is full of hope and promise of a New Year. I will have a tree (a fake one) for the girls for the holiday. There will not be any presents under it, but there will be food and the love of my children.

I am thankful that I have always raised my children to understand the differences between wants and needs. The girls don't ask for much, but when we were in town about six weeks ago the local ice cream place was getting ready to close for the winter. The girls asked if we could get ice cream one last time before it closed. I had to tell them I didn't have the extra $4. That stung a bit.

I will admit to being somewhat prideful and should have applied
for food stamps as soon as the unemployment ran out but didn't. Not until one of my daughters said to me quite casually as we were gathering a few things at the grocery store to make meals for the week, "You know Mom I am glad that bread and eggs don't cost a lot here or we would be starving."  I went the very next day to apply for food stamps.

The last thing I ever thought I would have to do was to bear my feelings like this but I could really use your help.

Thank you for anything you can chip in, even a few dollars helps us make it through the winter.

Deb Eck


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