While inflation takes its toll on many households, so does the inherent goodness of some people.
Global News kicked off the new year with a six-week Out of Pocket series, looking at the toll cost of living increases are having across the country.
Chantel Greene is a single mom who works full-time managing the car wash and laundromat at Fisher River Cree Nation, a three-hour drive north of Winnipeg.
On that income she supports her father and her 12-year-old daughter Chantay, who has unique needs associated with autism.
Read more: Meet a Manitoba mom forced ‘to basically eat stuff from a can’ to survive financially
Greene has a budget of $1,800. After a truck payment, car insurance, gas, and groceries — she’s in the hole $1,200 to $2,200 each month. That’s meant tough sacrifices to her own nutrition to ensure her dad, who is a renal cancer patient, and growing daughter are well-fed.
Not long after her story aired, she found an envelope in her post office box. It just had her name and general delivery to her First Nation. Inside was $100 — no note and no return address other than Athabasca, Alta.
“It makes me teary-eyed every time I think of it,” Greene said of the stranger’s unexpected gift.
“That blessing bought me gas, milk and cereal. It makes me think about a saying ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ — it only takes one person to make a difference.”
Calgarian Cathy Burton was reminded of that lesson as well after sharing her story with Global News. She worked in the golf industry for nearly four decades playing professionally and coaching in Manitoba and Alberta.
However, her recovery did not go as planned. She suffered several infections and eventually lost vision in both eyes.
“It’s been quite a transformation for me to get used to not having much sight,” she said.
That’s not the only adjustment Burton has had to make. She’s also learning to live on a fixed income.
“With the federal disability that I receive — the CPP disability — I take in $1,180 a month and my mortgage payments are $1,200.”
Burton does not qualify for AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) and she doesn’t meet the criteria for Alberta’s recently announced affordability payments.
She’s had to use her line of credit to cover basic expenses.
Since she shared her story, two GoFundMe campaigns have been started by those she knows from the golf community, totalling $27,000 and counting.
“It’s been incredible, actually,” Burton said. “There’s been so many different people reach out.”
In addition to financial support for her living expenses, someone even offered to cover food and supplies for her beloved pooch, Lewis.
While many are feeling the pinch of inflation Burton believes hearing others who are struggling worse, often brings out the best in people.
“I guess this is the impetus for people to do this.”