Diana's Story

$800 per month. It is amazing how many of DRA's consumers live on less than $800 per month.

For many years, Diana supported not only herself, but also managed to raise her three granddaughters on that amount. “I was filling out the free lunch application for my granddaughter’s school the other day and noticed that a household like mine could make $22,000 a year and still qualify as living in poverty,” mused Diana. “I had to laugh, because for me, that amount would be a big raise!”

“I don’t know how I would have survived all these years without DRA,” Diana firmly states.  “My girls got school supplies and backpacks every year.  I got help with my health and my house. I am astounded by how much REAL HELP I have gotten!”

For many years Diana relied on the help that DRA provided for her around the holidays. As a single mom who battled COPD, emphysema, and other illnesses, she remembers there were many tight years. One year, right before Christmas, Diana’s three-year-old granddaughter looked at her and asked, “Grandma, I see the reindeer under the tree, but where are the presents?” Diana was so sad. “I knew that I had nothing. I mean nothing. Then who showed up?  DRA! And those girls had nice gifts and a good meal for Christmas.  I will never forget that!”

More recently DRA connected Diana with vouchers from Comtrea for dental work.  Diana now as a full set of new teeth. “My teeth were in bad shape. I had no teeth on my lower left jaw. I got a new set of pearly whites just in time for my 50th Class reunion,” says Diana. “I don’t think I would have even gone to the reunion if it hadn’t been for DRA and my new teeth.  I’m so grateful I went!”

Diana is also very grateful for the help DRA has provided on several occasions with projects around her home.  Jimmy, an Independent Living Specialist at DRA, installed a bannister and new steps to make the entry way safe.  DRA partnered with Hammers of Hope to complete several painting and home modification projects.  The team also improved the insulation and weather-proofing in Diana’s home.  “My home was only 65% sealed,” recalls Diana. “Now it is 95% sealed. That saves me a lot on my utility bills.”

Thanks to grant funds, DRA also provided a new A/C unit. “Since I have COPD, I can’t breathe without A/C. You have made my house liveable!”

Diana also received help to fill out the paperwork to qualify for the Consumer Directed In-home Services that DRA provides.  Diana employs her granddaughter Jacalyn as her CDS attendant to care for her.  Jacalyn helps with much of the cooking and cleaning. She makes sure that Diana bathes safely. “At first, my friends said I shouldn’t have family take care of me. It might not work for everyone, but it is the best for me,” explains Diana. “I am the most comfortable with Jacalyn's help, and she takes very good care of me. I love that it gives me time with those I love the most, and I like to know that I am helping provide Jackie with a second job that gives her and her daughter a better life.”  Diana feels like life is coming full circle, “After all those years that I took care of her when she was little, I think Jackie is glad to help me now.” 

Diana is glad she had DRA's help for so much of their life’s cycle.

What does having DRA mean to Diana, “Are you kidding me? Having DRA in my life means EVERYTHING!”

"This is me and my oldest granddaughter Jacalyn before I went on oxygen, when I took care of her. Now she takes care of me," said Diana.

Title VI Notice

Disability Resource Association complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that "no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." For more information on the DRA Title VI program, and the procedures to file a complaint, contact the DRA Executive Director at 636-931-7696; or visit our administrative office at 130 Brandon Wallace Way, Festus MO.63028. DRA will translate all documents as needed. More information is available on our Title VI page.