Within hours of her story appearing online and in the newspapers, Sarah Bridgewater—the single mom of seven—began receiving calls from many pledging their support.
In a telephone interview, Bridgewater said help even came from chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation Anil Juteram who visited her on Monday with groceries.
A local entertainer also rendered financial support to Bridgewater. While other “good Samaritans” brought baby items for her one-year-old and groceries as well.
She said even as we spoke, she was receiving calls from people promising assistance.
“A person is supposed to drop a laptop off on Thursday for my son,” Bridgewater related.
Previously, an unemployed Bridgewater explained her 15-year-old, the eldest of her seven children, was due to sit the SEA exam carded for August 20, but he was unable to participate in any online courses or interact with his teacher during the school closure, due to her non-access to the internet and a computer.
Bridgewater said she was elated and deeply appreciative of the help that came, however, it was also a bitter-sweet feeling as with the good also came very negative comments from some in her village as well as many online she learned.
“Since the story came out, they (neighbours) just keep saying, “Come look at she, she gone on papers,” Bridgewater said.
She added, “I heard of the comments online and I was crying just to see how people do not know me and how it got to this point where I had to take the shame out of my face and put my story out there, but they are just saying so many nasty things. It really hurts.”
She recalls hosting a curry-cue last year to support her children, and all the food got wasted as not one person from the village supported her.
“People condemn you to death when you’ve made mistakes in your life. It is like they believe you should be punished for the rest of your life and they will make sure that you are,” Bridgewater said.
She said while these negative comments were made, come what may, she was responsible for the well-being of her children because they did not ask her to be born.
“I never wanted to come out and say anything for fear of such negative criticism, but when you are trying and still nothing is happening and there is really no one to ask for help what can you do especially with children involved?” Bridgewater asked.
She said she loved each of her children and would rather ask for help than to lose them to the State.