Her third grade teacher said ‘bluntly,’ she wasn’t born here, so she couldn’t go to college
Jenifer Hernandez-Vargas left Mexico when she was 3, became a citizen at 11. She plans on becoming an immigration lawyer after graduating York College
Paul Kuehnel, York Daily Record
Since the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago, people have been readjusting their lives. Some changes were good, but most were bad, including the loss of loved ones, the closing of small businesses and the rise of inflation.
But Lucy Blessing’s world quaked shortly before the pandemic took hold.
In just two years, the York city woman experienced theft, multiple surgeries and food insecurity.
Blessings felt the first tremor in her world in 2020. After being healthy for most of her life, she felt excruciating abdominal pain, forcing her to fall to the floor in a fetal position.
She didn’t know that she had five hernias and the damage they were causing to her organs.
“They were pressing on my pancreas so hard that it was almost dead,” said Blessing, “and you need your pancreas.”
While trying to look for the positive in this unexpected situation, she felt another tremor. Her bank account was hacked.
The hacker took over $17,000.
“It cost me just about everything,” said Blessing, “It was a lot of money. I had to refinance the house, not once, but twice.”
The last thing she wanted to hear was that she needed to have another surgery on her esophagus.
“I tried to get a part-time job, but due to my surgeries, it was hard to find one,” Blessing said.
She started her own business, Lucy’s Dog Dudds, but that is making little money.
With the little money she has, she feeds her dogs and pays her bills.
But the foods that she can eat are very expensive.
“It was either feed my dogs or feed myself,” Blessing said.
York County Food Bank
With money tight and food prices rising each month, Blessing didn’t know what to do.
She wanted help but was embarrassed about her situation. Eventually, she decided to reach out to the York County Food Bank.
“I went to the food bank because they don’t pry into your personal life,” said Blessing. “They look at the whole picture and not just you as a person when you sign up.”
The food bank has healthier options, including low-sodium foods and a lot of fruit, something that increased in price.
“Sometimes I feel unworthy, but it was a source that I could go to for help,” Blessing said.
When she receives food that she can’t eat, she pays the favor forward by giving it to other individuals in need.
“The food bank has been such a great help to me,” said Blessing.
Here’s how you can help
Help the York County Food Bank by donating to YDR’s Christmas Emergency Fund: Each holiday season, the York Daily Record offers readers the opportunity to help our community through the Christmas Emergency Fund. The holidays are a time for food, family and generosity, but it’s hard to enjoy the home and hearth if the cupboard is bare. And food insecurity extends well beyond the holidays for many people. That’s why the York Daily Record has chosen the York County Food Bank as the beneficiary of this year’s fundraising effort. Traditions Bank is partnering with us to collect and disburse donations – all free of charge so every penny goes to help local folks. Please consider giving generously. You can donate online at https://yorkfoodbank.org/christmas-emergency-fund-2022/ or checks can be mailed to: YDR Christmas Emergency Fund C/O Traditions Bank, 226 Pauline Drive, York, PA 17402-0136.