Helping keep the focus on recovery following basketball injury

It was time for SunBelt Furniture Xpress Warehouse Employee Chris S.’ family reunion and that meant a family basketball tournament. Chris said he was going up for a rebound during one of the games, came down a little funny and tweaked his knee.

He thought he dislocated his knee, but it turned out he tore ligaments around his knee cap and required surgery. Doctors said that would put him out of work for several months.

While Chris was working through the recovery process, he approached his manager about Short-Term Disability options. While his manager said there wasn’t a disability option that fit his needs at the time, the Anderson Assistance Foundation (the Foundation) would be a good option for Chris.

“I was like, is this for real?” Chris said.

His manager convinced him it was, in fact, for real. After submitting his information, the Foundation helped Chris cover rent and utility payments for a couple of months so he could focus on recovering his knee.

“It helped me out a whole lot. A whole lot,” Chris said.

Chris is now back at work for SunBelt and said he is even running a little. He hopes to be back in basketball shape in the near future.

“The Foundation is a huge, huge help,” Chris said. “I really, really appreciate it.”

Covering Expenses During Unexpected Leave From Work

On September 16, 2019, we received a call no parent wants to hear. Sawyer, a happy, energetic 3-year-old, had a seizure at daycare. It’s a call we will never forget.

We rushed him to St. Cloud Hospital Emergency Room after we picked him up. When we first saw him, it looked like he had just seen a ghost — white as a sheet and couldn’t talk. We were scared as to what had happened and what the outcome would be. After finding out that his blood results came back fine, the hospital sent us home on a strict 24-hour watch. If he had another episode then we would be flown down to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. Thankfully, that never happened and we were in the clear.

The following Wednesday, the 18th, we met with a pediatric neurologist. She did her testing and we were told Sawyer would need to continue to be on close watch. We had a follow-up on the 19th with his primary doctor to have him looked at for a third time to make sure nothing was missed. He would need an MRI and EEG the following week. We had no idea what to expect, let alone what was going to happen.

On the morning of the 26th, we woke up and Sawyer asked why dad (Bryce) was still home and why grandma was there. We headed to the hospital about 6:30 in the morning for check-in at 7:15. After exploring the room and getting checked in the Pediatric ICU department, we could finally breathe and get settled for the day. He was very interested in the mini toilet that was located in the room. He got right up on the bed and started to play with the toys we had brought with. He had no idea what was going on.

The nurses and doctors started to come in to get him prepped to be put under. First, they used a numbing medication on his hands for the IVs to be inserted. After those were placed, we were brought down to the MRI. They placed us in a small room while the Pediatric doctor was there to monitor Sawyer. He was then put to sleep shortly after. He did excellent during the MRI. 25 minutes later, they brought him and back up to the Pediatric ICU department. He looked lifeless — not moving — and peaceful. Once back in the room, they began the EEG test. It took about an hour.

After a long stressful day, the results came back fine. We were told one in 10 toddlers have a pediatric seizure for no reason.

Being a part of the Freightliner Team for less than a year and being able to apply for help with the Anderson Assistant Foundation helped cover bills that we had not expected. Thank you.

– Jennifer W.

Ensuring a grieving family could properly say goodbye

Losing a loved one, especially your mother, is a difficult reality most of us have faced or will face in our lifetime. While your loved one is in and out of treatments in the hospital, you don’t really have time to plan for the inevitable. You want them to get better and that’s what all your time and energy goes into. Then it happens and they’re gone forever. Now comes the difficult part for the surviving family members: Funeral cost. It’s difficult to do, especially while grieving for your loved one. That’s where the Anderson Assistance Foundation really stepped up for my family and immensely helped us in our time of need and grieving to make sure our loved one had a proper burial. We are forever thankful for the help they sent to us.

– Roel L.

VIDEO: Hattie’s Story: Assistance helps family following surgery

Watch Hattie’s Story

Our daughter, Hattie, was born February 15, 2019 with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) along with a heart defect. Her particular defect is known as a complete balanced Atrioventricular (AV) canal defect. This would require open-heart surgery at three months old. On May 21, 2019, Hattie underwent surgery at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.

Overall, the surgery went well. It was a very long day because the surgery took a total of about 12 hours, so we were glad to see her after. Her recovery, however, is where we hit a lot of speed bumps. Our hospital stay ended up being over six weeks long and they originally estimated a 5-10 day recovery. She ended up going in for two more procedures, a Heart Catheterization to inspect the repair that was made and a Gastrostomy feeding tube (G-tube) placement surgery. These were performed to assist on her road to recovery.

We cannot thank the Anderson Assistance Foundation enough for their donation to our family. Because of it, we were able to spend over a week in a hotel. Living and sleeping in a hospital room can take a toll on you mentally and physically. Having this escape at night was just the thing we needed to be able to reset as parents from the long days in the hospital.

Hattie has been home for a few months now and is thriving. She is smiling and laughing every day. She has been an amazing first child for us and we couldn’t ask for a sweeter daughter. Thank you to everyone that has kept us in their thoughts and prayers.

Thank you again Anderson Assistance Foundation!

We appreciate it more than words!

Tim, Ashley & Baby Hattie

Foundation helps cover living expenses following hardship

It was a normal commute to work for ATS Shop Employee Tom S. and his girlfriend Haley F., also an ATS Employee. That was until they were approaching a stop sign, when suddenly Tom had a seizure.

When he initially came to, he was in a significant amount of pain, leading to him falling in and out of consciousness several more times. When he finally stayed conscious for a while, he learned he broke five vertebrae from the neck down and broke both of his shoulders. Tom needed a spinal fusion to repair the damage done by his seizure.

The injury caused Tom to miss time at work, leading to one less paycheck to cover the costs at home. While Tom had heard of the Anderson Assistance Foundation (the Foundation), he didn’t think his injury fit the criteria. Luckily, Haley did. She applied on Tom’s behalf, which led to the Foundation covering a portion of their living expenses to help them through the hardship.

“I was really grateful,” Tom said. “It helped us so much.”

Tom said the doctor told him he wouldn’t be able to do manual labor for the foreseeable future, which was a key part of his job. That’s why he said the assistance from the Foundation meant so much.

“Something that may seem so small to the Foundation was really big for us,” Tom said.

Assisting with rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Florence

Not long after Hurricane Florence passed through the Carolinas, ATS Driver Collis S. returned to his home to find water leaking through his ceilings after the wind blew several shingles off his roof. He did what most would do in a situation like that and contacted his insurance company, however they could only cover so much. He then reached out to ATS, who helped cover more of the cost to repair the damage.

“They came through like a champion,” Collis said. “They look out for their people.”

Collis said he loves working for a company like ATS and would have said the same thing even before receiving help.

“They’re really concerned about their employees,” Collis said. “They go out of their way to make sure your family is alright when you’re on the road.”

Helping rebuild after Thanksgiving house fire

It was just two days before Thanksgiving 2018 when ATS Vans Driver James V.’s house went up in flames. It was determined the home was a total loss along with many of the belongings inside it.

James was fortunate enough to have shelter while working to find a new home, staying with his mother. Once that new home was ready, however, he needed to replace the belongings to go inside it. That was when the Anderson family stepped in. They told James to pick out whatever bed he wanted and they would take care of it.

“This was the first company I’ve ever been with that stepped up like this,” James said.

James has been settled into his new home for a couple months now and thanks the Anderson Family of Companies for helping him handle some of the burden of starting over.

“They treat me more or less like family.”

Providing relief to those impacted by Hurricane Maria

Thank you for the hurricane relief sent to me by ATS, but also for the emotional support I’ve received from each of you after the destructive path of Hurricane Maria came through the Island of Puerto Rico. Once again, ATS has demonstrated that it cares for their employees and makes us feel that we are part of a big family even though we are far away. I’m proud to be part of a company that has high core values and cares for the well-being of their employees. After Hurricane Maria, my life is not the same: no water, no electricity, no internet (in my house), no cable TV and a very weak signal on my cellular phone. One the other hand, I definitely appreciate all the blessings that God gives us every day; I am able to celebrate each new leaf on the trees, the sunrises and the stars.

It is such a blessing to have a job with a company that is helping PR move all the necessary materials to rebuild the island. I can see this blessing from my office every work day as the company’s values are in action through its workers: Integrity, Determination, Responsibility, Innovation and Excellence. These are my values too, as I step out of this situation and contribute to the new beginning of PR.

Once again, thank you for your support and for holding us during the difficult situation.

God bless you all!

– Mirza M.