Stories We've Her.Ed and Supported
Nominated by Chelsea Richardson
Everyone relies on Ms. Susie – her friends, her children, her aging parents, and my entire family. She is not only the full-time care provider for my two boys, Chandler (5) and Caison (2), she has become an integral part of our family.
We were introduced to Ms. Susie in 2019 when Chandler started daycare and she was his toddler room lead. Over the next year, they formed a unique bond even as he began experiencing behavioral challenges. She was the one who spoke his language and genuinely loved him through the hard moments and hard days. When the pandemic hit in 2020, the daycare shut down, and my husband and I’s world was flipped upside down trying figure out each day. With a young child now at home (and one on the way), we were working around the clock in director-level positions in healthcare administration and product supply – industries heavily impacted by COVID. We were not in a position to forego childcare and spent the next nine months searching for committed and consistent care that could manage the challenges of our oldest and a newborn who arrived in Sept 2020. Some weeks we had a different person in our house every day, and some days we had multiple people in and out handing off care! Our neighbors helped, grandparents helped, and we often relied on random hired help. It was overwhelming.
To our call of desperation, it was Ms. Susie who answered. She felt a connection and a calling to help – she quit her job to join our family. She started as our in-home childcare provider in July 2021, and instantly the clouds parted. We no longer had to worry about how to get through the next day. Chandler felt loved and his behavioral issues began to dissipate. We hit a rhythm and were rebalanced between work and life for about four months until Ms. Susie started mentioning that her back was bothering her. She took a little time off to go to the chiropractor and purchased a new bed to try to fix the pain, but it became worse and worse. In October, we woke up to a text that she was in so much pain she couldn’t get out of bed, she couldn’t move without wincing pain. Collectively, we were at a complete loss all over again! Financially, we were her sole source of income that effectively came to halt after we could no longer compensate by stringing out as much paid time off as we could. Ms. Susie was in need of substantial healthcare without a steady income, and we were again day-to-day without childcare.
Ms. Susie has had a storied life growing up as a missionary child moving around the country and internationally. She’s 56, widowed, cares passionately about her family, loves the color purple, K-love radio, and all things Christmas. When I think about Ms. Susie, I imagine a text full of all the happy emojis – she radiates joy and communicates expressively! She has selflessly dedicated her life’s work to childcare, which has financially provided for her to be able to enjoy life, but never allowed her to build up a sizeable cushion for a major life event. She had always been healthy and hadn’t needed to consider her level of insurance coverage that carried a deductible more than several months of her regular income. With a significant back injury to face that ultimately required surgery, Ms. Susie was delaying desperately needed specialized care due to the cost she knew she’d incur.
As each day passed, we all grew increasingly stressed. There was no answer. We couldn’t afford to support her healthcare expenses, and she was unable to get the help she needed. In seeking support, I connected with Her.Ed’s Founder, Amanda, who empathized with the varied circumstances and unexpectedly offered to help. Overnight, Her.Ed provided funds to cover four months of Ms. Susie’s living expenses so she had the financial relief to have her surgery, rest, recover, and return to work eight weeks later.
It's now been over six months of having our lives put back together with the return of Ms. Susie to our family. To say Her.Ed saved us is an understatement. Her.Ed provided for Ms. Susie, so that Ms. Susie could provide for my family. And in return, she could be fulfilled in doing what she loves: nurturing and loving on children.