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My name is Susan. I'm 29 and live in Gettysburg with my two children, Amy who's 4, and Seth who's 7.

I went to work for a local firm ten years ago and am now the office manager. I work 35 hours a week and make $12 an hour. I do not receive any health care or other benefits. I have about $1300 to spend each month after taxes.

I am the victim of domestic violence. My ex-husband hit me and the kids; he's in prison in another county. I do not receive any child support.

We live in a small two-bedroom apartment. The rent is $650 a month and utilities cost another $200 a month. My daughter was in pre-school, but when my husband went to prison, I could no longer afford $85 a week for child care. Amy stays with my next-door neighbor. Seth is in second grade and goes to my neighbor's until I get home from work.

I spend $250 a month for my car and gas to get to work. That leaves $200 for food, clothes and what little else I can get for my kids.

I work hard, but I live from paycheck to paycheck. Thank goodness my kids have health care through CHIP, the state's program. I go to the food pantry at SCCAP to help me get through the month. Safe Home helped me and my kids get through the tough times when my husband beat me and MidPenn Legal Services is helping me get the divorce. I want my kids not to be afraid any more, but it's hard. I'm trying to find a cheaper place to live, but the waiting list for housing is over 18 months long.

I'm not complaining. I have my kids, a job and a place to stay. For now. But if I get sick or something happens, I know I'll be in trouble. And with the way the prices keep getting higher, it makes it really stressful for me.

Thank goodness there are agencies and organizations in town who can help me. If they weren't here, I don't know what I'd do or where I'd go.

Susan and her family are a representation of countless families across Adams County, hard working individuals who are doing their best to provide for their children. But there are too many times when paychecks fall short and hard choices need to be made.

Our human services providers are doing the best we can in the county given the economic circumstances and sequestration. Now more than ever we need your financial support to continue services in Adams County. Please help United Way help Susan, Amy and Seth, and the hundreds of families like them. Please give generously to this year's 2013-2014 UWAC campaign.

Thank you.
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