Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'It Really Does Take a Village ...'

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'It Really Does Take a Village ...'

Article excerpt


Just a few years ago, Tasha Ganey worked as a government employee helping people in difficult situations pursue aid.

She used to be the kind of person who paid every bill on time and wondered why everyone else couldn't do the same. "I used to wonder, 'Why do people need other people to help them?'"

But then Ganey, a single mother of two, experienced what she calls a "role reversal." Her older brother was seriously injured in a car accident last December and became addicted to pain medication. She needed to take custody of his three children.

Now Ganey, 29, has needed some extra help. She struggles to pay for gas and utilities, and has a different understanding of why efforts like the Season of Sharing fund are so worthwhile.

"You never know when life is going to turn around, and you're going to find yourself in the very situation you thought people should be able to prevent themselves from being in," says Ganey. "It really does take a village to raise a family. Especially when there's a tragedy in a family, it takes everyone to pitch in and help."

The Season of Sharing fund helped Ganey with the deposit and first month's rent on a house large enough for her and the five children she is raising. Before, Ganey and the children were squeezed into Ganey's parents' house -- a situation that was extra challenging because Ganey's father is a disabled veteran.

She began caring for her brother's children while he was still in the hospital; their natural mother is also struggling with addiction issues. Ganey, in fact, was helping to care for her brother immediately after his release from the hospital.

She describes herself as someone who used to think she didn't want children but realized that she is a natural caretaker. Ganey says she loves watching the children's personalities develop and describes her life as "always laughing or crying or crying from laughing."

She gets up at 5 a.m. every day, ensures all five children make it to school or day care, works a full-time job plus overtime as a project coordinator for a construction firm, then gathers all the children before making them dinner every night. …

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