Barley MacTavish helps Midland County family pay mortgage


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 for solve 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,

We moved here two years ago and we both had solid jobs. Our children loved the new neighborhood and their schools. We knew we had made the right decision, even if we had to leave our extended family behind in Ohio.

A year ago, I had to quit my job due to health issues. It took a long time to diagnose my Lyme disease. I took strong but necessary antibiotics. Unfortunately, my digestive system is a mess.

With medical bills and my job loss, we are struggling to pay our bills. We’ve depleted our emergency savings account and don’t know what else to do. We need help with our mortgage payment for this month. Could you help us? I have contacted a number of churches and am waiting to hear from them. Thanks.

Dear friend,

I’m so sorry it took so long to properly diagnose your illness. I am so relieved that you are receiving proper treatment for Lyme disease. You don’t want it left untreated. I am sending a check in your name to your bank for your mortgage payment. Best wishes to you, your husband and your children.


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Elaine R. Knight