There are many places you can turn to for help in the middle of your divorce and I have spoken about some of them on this blog. One place, as you know, is the social services department of your local town. Another place which is available in the Greater Hartford area is "Gifts of Love" which has headquarters in Avon, CT.
The mission of Gifts of Love is to help "meet the basic needs of individuals and families in Central Connecticut experiencing a financial crisis so that they can achieve and maintain self sufficiency." One of the problems I often faced in looking for financial assistance is that I do own my house and I have a job. This means I am not eligible for the many programs in the area that assist people who are indigent. But what happens when you are not rich enough to get by, but not poor enough to be eligible for state programs, etc.
I was a person who had a job and owned my own house but when my divorce began I often couldn't afford the gas necessary to get to work or even the money to buy the groceries I needed to feed the children. In addition, the dysfunction in my relationship with the abuser in my life had isolated me from my friends and family so that I could not easily speak to them about my economic needs. That is where a program such as Gifts of Love comes in because they do not expect you to be totally without financial means in order for you to receive their assistance.
Gifts of Love is a very active group and I hear all the time about their fund raising efforts and the ways in which they support people. Their website (see links) boasts that they had more than 75 volunteers donate up to 7,682 hours of their time in the last year. The kinds of assistance Gifts of Love provides is as follows: 1. food; 2. clothing; 3. household items (small appliances, towels, brooms; and 4. furniture that is clean and usable. Furthermore, according to their website, "The organization annually distributes over $300,000 of goods and services to neighbors in need."
Gifts of Love is located in Old Avon Village behind and beneath the UPS store and it is open Monday through Friday from 9 to 3. They are also open the first Saturday of every month from 9 to 12 and some evenings during the week thanks to the volunteer program. You can call them at 860-676-2323 or write them and/or send a donation to: Gifts of Love, 35 East Main Street, P.O. Box 463, Avon, CT 06001.
So, why, might you ask, have you put Linda Weigand's name down in the bottom where the term "labels" is located. The reason is that, although she is no longer associated with the program, Ms. Linda Wiegand played a major role in the establishment of the organization Gifts of Love around 20 years ago starting in the years prior to her divorce. So, is this woman a monster? I have no absolute proof. I have read the allegations against her and they seem serious. But the existence of this organization and its survival says a good deal in her favor.
Is her ex husband, Tom Wilkinson, a monster? Again, I have no absolute proof. I've read the allegations against him which seem pretty serious. Otherwise, he appears to have been a respectable businessman up to the point where the divorce broke out. I anticipate learning more about them both as we continue to explore their story in the upcoming Linda Wiegand Case, Part II.