Through Her Own Loss & Struggle, She Helps Others Get By

Sandra lost her mother and her husband in the span of just a few years.

While driving with a friend through the terrible snow storm of 1982, Sandra’s mother went missing. For a month, dozens of search parties turned up empty. Finally, a truck driver discovered her mother’s car accident in a frozen creek bed.

Just three years later, Sandra’s husband, David Cain, succumbed to cirrhosis of the liver. He had been sick with the disease for several years, leaving Sandra to serve as his caretaker.

Sandra still lives in the 1974 single-wide. But as the years have passed, the trailer has needed upkeep that she could not afford. Now, she lives in only the portion of the trailer that is safe to occupy.

“I couldn’t make ends meet,” she says. “I don’t go all the time - only when I’m really low on money.”

“Everything else is going up,” Sandra says. “Food stamps are something that helps feed you to keep you alive.”

Sandra is fortunate to have a car, since her rural address would make it impossible for her to receive food assistance from the Irvington Food Pantry and other resources without transportation.

She admits though, she wouldn’t have the car, or much else, without help from her daughter, Tina, and the kindness of others in the community.

“She said ‘Centralia’s Taxi Service has to have a car,’” Sandra says.

Sandra helps care for sick friends and provides friends and neighbors with rides to the doctor, the food pantry and government offices to pick up food stamps.

Sandra says her friend rides a bicycle and doesn’t get food stamps because the nearest office is in Carlyle and he can’t get there.

“I’ve got it hard, but he has it harder,” Sandra says. “There’s so many more out there worse off than me.”