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With a Little Help from My Friend: Looking Ahead to 2021

We've all struggled this year, some of us more than others. While one Evansville resident waits on her next round of help -- through the form of a stimulus check -- she's been making sure one local restaurant can stay open in the new year.

Posted: Jan 1, 2021 12:00 AM
Updated: Jan 1, 2021 6:47 PM

2020. A year that seemed to get worse as each month went by.

The pandemic hitting hard for many.

"My dad had to file for unemployment, my grandpa had to file for unemployment," Evansville resident, Hannah Forkel-Matte said. 

The first round of economic relief -- $1,200 in direct payments -- arrived in April for millions of struggling Americans and after waiting more than eight months, the second round is being sent out just ahead of the new year.

"I don't think it's enough." Forkel-Matte said for some, it's too little too late.

"A lot of people, like, $600 isn't even going to pay their mortgage or their rent or whatever so it's like people are having to choose between paying for electric or whatever bills they have or pharmaceutical bills just to get their prescriptions and paying rent," she said. "So they're making these hard decisions and it would have been a lot easier to make these decisions getting $2,000 instead of the $600."

Still, it's something, in still very uncertain times.

"Our plans are to save it just because we have no clue what the next year is going to be like as far as finances go," Forkel-Matte said.

We've all struggled this year, some of us more than others, and while she and her family wait for their next round of help, she's making sure others have a brighter 2021.

Siciliano's Subs is a local Evansville favorite, but they nearly had to close their doors in esrly December.

"Friends had offered to do a Go Fund Me but we were so adamant about earning business so one night just thought, "Hey, you want to try this charcuterie thing?'," said Danielle Hodge, the sub shop's co-owner.

So, the community rallied together.

"They posted about it on Facebook and everybody was like, 'OK we want to support",'" Forkel-Matte said.

Now she, and so many others, keep coming back.

"Real grateful for the community," Hodge said. "For trusting us with their holiday needs, shopping local and supporting us through this adventure."

For both Hodge and Forkel-Matte, a little help can go a long way. It's what got us through this year.

"I think it's really important to try and do what you can, that's the only way we're going to make it," Forkel-Matte said.

And will continue to as we look ahead to a new, hopeful 2021.

"What we're trying to do now is build back our business," Hodge said. "We're also trying to give back as much as we can, so when we see somebody in need we're also trying to give back wherever it is that we can."

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