Shawn and Brandy Embry live in the rural community of Stryker, Ohio where their children attend school and they maintain a residence.
What does a family do when all of a sudden the husband and father is injured at work and six months later has the leg that was injured amputated? At the same time the mother has issues with her back and can’t be gainfully employed? When they have three children a boy Dakota who is 16, a daughter Zole who is 14 and another daughter Faith who is 9 years of age? When young Zole also has a Cognitive Behavioral Disorder, which brings other challenges into their lives?
Sometimes as we journey through this walk of life we are challenged with the unexpected. I asked Brandy Embry what her and her husband Shawn’s approach was and she shared some very interesting observations.
Brandy says, “We are just devastated financially and can barely meet the house payment, car payment and monthly bills. In reaching out for assistance a local church here in Stryker and one in Edgerton, Ohio have been very kind and helpful. I must tell you though the opposite has been true of some of the public assistance groups in the area. I have never been treated with such disrespect in my life as at these facilities. They treated me like they didn’t believe a word that I was telling them. They were very judgmental and unfriendly. I don’t know if it’s because they need to set up some kind of a training program for their employees or what. That employee is the face of their organization and I just feel people in need don’t deserve to be treated disrespectfully. “The person in need is hurting in many ways. Self esteem, concern for their children’s well being, trying to maintain a household and to feed the family. We didn’t ask or do anything intentionally to put ourselves in this position and we don’t intend to stay here forever in this struggle that we are presently facing.”
Brandy explained that this was the reason she started “Williams County Helping One Another”, an on-line resource allowing residents to help one another whenever in need. Brandy explains that most of the correspondence for the project is done through private messaging over Facebook as well as points out that many needs have been met for many different individuals – all a result of people reaching out to one another. She says, “The main thing we try to maintain with dignity is to be friendly and not judgmental”
While the name of the project implies that it is solely Williams County based, Brandy also explains that “many donated items have come from Defiance County”. Quite often the items being donated are delivered to the Embry household for distribution.
Even though she and her own family are struggling, Brandy is thrilled to be able to reach out through social media to help other people who are experiencing the same things.
Brandy shares that she was raised by a single parent along with six sisters and two brothers and they moved around a lot during her childhood. As one can imagine, she has not had an easy life. However, she uses her own struggle as a learning experience and explains that the most important thing that she has learned is “Don’t be judgmental of other folks as you never know for sure what they are going through in their own lives.”
Brandy can be reached at 419.378.0032 for more information or, you can find “Williams County Helping One Another” on Facebook.
John may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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