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Single mom gets back on her feet during COVID-19 thanks to nonprofit

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Posted at 5:38 AM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 07:59:40-04

EAST TROY — Like everyone else in spring, when the pandemic hit, Lyndsay Pfankuch of East Troy had to home school her kids, ages three to 14. It wasn't easy.

"My little guy who just turned 6, Maddox, he's in special ed and we're still struggling and he may have more issues that come up. We're a couple of years behind in school. It was huge trying to even get him to sit down for five minutes," Pfankuch.

Doing it alone as a single mom, she says the stress at times was too much to bear.

"How can we get the family to flow together? How can we be a family again because there's so much chaos," Pfankuch said.

She's also the breadwinner of her family. She was out of work before COVID-19 and was just starting to get back on her feet. But, these last few months, she felt the hits kept coming.

"Am I going to be on the street? What am I going to do?" she said.

"I have to make rent, how am I going to do this? I can't work right now, I can't do this," she said.

Pfankuch reached out Easterseals. The agency's Safe Babies Healthy Families program had the help she needed.

"We provide the support, education, and resources that families might need," said Karen Villarreal, manager of the program.

Villarreal says to qualify all you have to do is live in Milwaukee, Waukesha, or Walworth counties and have a child under the age of five.

"I think we're unique in the sense that we don't have all of these hoops to jump through to qualify for our program. It's a voluntary program," Villarreal said.

The program provided cleaning products and school supplies for Pfankuch and helped her figure out how to pay her bills.

"They help you with goal making and things like that so they advocate for you and getting success for you," said Pfankuch.

Most importantly, she always had someone to talk with if she was struggling.

"We do have to ask for help. Once I started doing that more things and greater and better things just become available," Pfankuch said.

If your family needs financial or emotional support during COVID-19, call nonprofit Easterseals at 414-449-4444 and ask about the Safe Babies Healthy Families program. Or, visit their website.

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