Barley helps with brake pads

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EDITOR’S NOTE – The Barley MacTavish Fund welcomes letters from Midland County residents about themselves or others, explaining why they need help and what they have tried to do to resolve their problems. Write Barley, c/o Midland Area Community Foundation, 76 Ashman Circle, Midland, MI 48640 or call (989) 839-9661. Be sure to include a daytime phone number and email address. The names of the candidates are never published.

There is no real Barley MacTavish. This fund was started by an anonymous donor and continues with private financial support, as well as donations from area residents during the holiday season. The project was undertaken to help make Midland a better place to live. The letters addressed to Barley are not from actual candidates, but represent typical requests.

Dear Barley,


I am a single mother raising two children. My eldest is in sixth grade and is in school all day. My mother is able to watch her after school. My youngest child is physically disabled and is in a special program. She is transported by bus to her school.

I am now able to hold a full time job thanks to the support of my mother and with the two girls in school. I don’t want to lose this job, but I have to drive about 40 minutes one way. My car is an older model and still runs well with one exception. A friend of mine thought I needed new brake pads and told me I should get them ASAP. I asked what they would cost and realized I didn’t have that kind of money.

We live off my salary. I don’t get any child support from the father of my children and I can’t continue to borrow money from my mother. She already helps us so much. But I don’t want to drive a dangerous car. Could you help me with brake pads? Thank you for reading my letter.

Dear friend,

I will send a check to an auto repair service for the installation of new brake pads for your car. You are so wise not to drive around in a car with faulty brake pads. It sounds like you have a strong relationship with your mother and how wonderful that is for you and your children. Best wishes to all of you.

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