vol. 17 // July 2021
Bad Things Happening to Good People could be the title of Yvonne’s* story. To receive assistance from Binc, a book or comic book store employee must experience an unforeseen financial hardship, referred to as a “qualifying event.” When Yvonne contacted Binc, she had experienced eight separate qualifying events in the previous 15-month period.
First: After suffering a small stroke, Yvonne was forced to reduce her hours and step down from a management position at the bookstore, causing a loss of household income.
Second: Yvonne’s husband unexpectedly lost his job and it was a few months before employment could be found.
Third: Yvonne’s sibling passed away suddenly. Yvonne, being the sole remaining relative, needed to travel to another state to arrange the funeral and settle the estate. This meant another three weeks of missed bookstore income.
Fourth: Yvonne’s husband experienced a medical condition that forced a change in his medication. The new medication caused a dangerous flare up of another long-standing chronic medical condition. This situation caused Yvonne to miss more work in order to care for her husband.
Fifth: After suffering with knee pain for months, Yvonne learned that she needed to undergo knee replacement surgery. The pre-op appointments, surgery, and rehab led to another six weeks of lost income. On top of this, even with health insurance, Yvonne’s portion of the surgery and pre-op care was in the neighborhood of $6,000.
Sixth: Yvonne needed to take unpaid FMLA in order to care for her husband after another medical event.
Seventh: Yvonne fell on the ice, was taken to the ER, and due to the aforementioned stroke, she required an expensive MRI. The fall caused a minor concussion, leading to a week of missed work (and pay).
Eighth: Yvonne’s mother-in-law passed away after a lengthy illness and the couple needed to travel once again to plan the funeral and settle the estate.
Few of us have experienced such an unrelenting run of bad luck, or can even imagine managing through this series of events. For more than a year, each time this couple got back on their feet emotionally and financially, they got knocked down by another unanticipated hardship. Understandably, the expenses related to all of these events had depleted the couple’s emergency savings. The stress and worry of how to pay household expenses and medical bills was weighing heavy on Yvonne and her husband when co-workers convinced her to call Binc.
Working with Yvonne, Binc was able to pay some medical bills and household expenses to help the couple get back on firm financial footing.
*Confidentiality is a core component of any assistance Binc provides, so the name of this bookstore owner has been changed. Some events may have been compressed and details might be included from another story to protect the confidentiality and privacy of all those who receive assistance from Binc.
“Thank you very much for the support!! During this pandemic it was great to see so much support from Binc!!“
— A comic shop owner you helped