Can a new washing machine transform a family’s life? Absolutely, if you ask busy working mother-of-five Tracy Curless. With two adults, three teenagers and twin eight-and-a-half month old boys under their regional Queensland roof, the household washing basket can feel like a never-ending story.
“It gets a more complicated I suppose when you add the fact my 17-year-old son Nicholas was born with physical and intellectual disabilities and is fairly incontinent,” Tracy says. “We were trying to put through three to four loads of washing a day. Nick’s bedding needs to take priority because we need to get them dry and they take up so much room. The washing problem was compounding because my husband and I both work, so it has been very challenging for our family.”
A former bank manager, Tracy runs a tight ship when it comes to the family budget and is extremely careful with Nick’s small disability pension. When NILS and StepUp Coordinator, Kahlee Heslop, told Tracy about Good Shepherd Microfinance, she knew she had found a family lifeline.
“Once we had all the documentation for Nicholas’ case and had a phone interview with Tracy, it was presented to our loans assessment committee, who approved a no interest loan application to buy a new washing machine,” says Kahlee, who works at the Logan East Community Centre.
“Tracy was then able to buy a second large washing machine, without an agitator, so there’s more room for bedding. It’s making life so much easier for both the family and Nick’s carers who provide much-needed assistance. Good Shepherd Microfinance also has a deal with The Good Guys, so Tracy received a commercial discount and delivery, meaning the washing machine was bought at the lowest possible price.”
According to Tracy, Nick’s NILS loan has lifted a lot of pressure.
“You could spend all day doing washing along, so it has had a very positive impact on the whole family.”
As for Kahlee, seeing first-hand the difference NILS can make to her clients’ lives makes her job incredibly rewarding.
“It’s such an amazing feeling to be able to tell someone that they have been approved for a NILS loan. There have been multiple times that I’ve teared up because I know how much an item means to somebody.”
Once the washing machine loan is repaid, the family hopes to use NILS to finance the purchase of an air conditioner for Nick’s bedroom to beat the Queensland summer heat.
Click here to watch Tracy and Nicholas’ story.