Success Story: Seth and Sarah W.
Seth serves in the Army Reserve and has since January of 2018. He started out as a Chaplain candidate. When he is not called to fulfill his Reserve duties, he works nights at BMW. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina with his wife, Sarah, and their two children of 21 months and 7 weeks. Sarah cares for the two children full-time.
Speaking on his experience in the Army, Sarah said her husband enjoys it. They both do.
“He loves the Army,” Sarah said. “He actually got switched to a unit in Charlotte, NC when he became a reserve chaplain rather than a candidate.”
Before her second child, Sarah used to help with the South Carolina Upstate Soldier and Family Readiness Group with Melissa G. It was Melissa who connected her to Higher Ground Hikers and Upstate Warrior Solution.
Since connecting with Higher Ground Hikers and Upstate Warrior Solution, Sarah has worked with our Family Services Advocate Virginia Barnes. When Virginia found out Seth lost his job due to COVID-19, she contacted Sarah.
Sarah likened the experience to after Seth finished Chaplain School in April last year. He was unemployed for a few months as he worked on the hiring process for BMW through MAU. However, Sarah knew this experience was different.
Not only were they not getting unemployment, but they had to replace the HVAC and did not know if Seth would get back pay. Without a steady stream of income coming in, Seth and Sarah did not know how they would pay for their mortgage and electric bill.
After learning all this, Virginia gave Sarah information on our COVID-19 Relief Fund in partnership with the Premier Foundation and walked her through the application process. Sarah applied and was accepted. The family received $711 from the fund to put toward their mortgage and power bill for June.
“It ended up being a blessing,” Sarah said. “He actually didn’t end up getting unemployment until three weeks ago, which was two months after he got laid off.”
As of July 1, UWS has distributed almost $33,697.65 through the emergency relief fund to about 35 local veterans who have been impacted by the health crisis of 2020.
“We appreciate everything Upstate Warrior Solution does,” Sarah said. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with [them].”
These funds have provided direct payment of mortgages, utilities, and car repairs for veterans who have been furloughed or are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. If you are a veteran, service member, or military spouse affected by the health crisis and need assistance with housing, utilities, or medical costs, fill out the form at this link.
Seth started working his job again on Father’s Day. He has been able to still pursue the Army Active Duty Chaplain opportunity. After he gets the required hours with his church, he plans to apply to be an active duty chaplain in two years.
Sarah said, “He’s just glad to have his job back. It’s a little less uncertainty as far as that goes.”
The family is hoping BMW will not have to shut down again.
“They are truly a committed family unit,” Virginia said. “They support each other and are selfless in their service to country and community.”