Lillian Herman, 72, of Saylorsburg, PA is “quarantined in the woods,” and trying her best to stay positive during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Although she doesn’t have human companionship at home, she has 8 furry feline companions who keep her focused-on things outside of the loneliness she feels and the daily pressure she feels under.

“I was a war baby and my mother used to tell me that she’s never seen anything like the state of the world as she did during the war. But let me tell you, she hasn’t seen this,” Lillian said through the phone. “Covid-19 is something else.”

On a fixed income each month, every penny is budgeted just so. “I don’t have cable because I can’t afford it. But I’m a farm girl so I don’t just sit around and watch television all day anyway. I find plenty of work to keep my hands busy and my mind sharp. My day starts at 5:00am when I go out to my porch and look out at the cows grazing in the farm next door. Well, until one of my babies swats anxiously at my ankles to remind me that it’s time to eat,” Lillian laughed.

Although the isolation suits Lillian just fine, the pressure of paying her monthly bills, combined with the stress of COVID-19 sent her to the hospital with chest pains a few weeks back. Thankfully, Lillian’s heart was just fine, and she tested negative for COVID-19.

“I turned to The Salvation Army for help because I’m not too proud to ask,” Lillian said, with a hitch in her voice. “When you are my age, with very little money, asking for help is better than stealing what you need. People shouldn’t have to rob Peter to pay Paul.”

Salvation Army East Stroudsburg Corps Case Manager, Heather Cleveland, agrees. “So many people come to us for help with what should be the necessities: a roof over their heads, water to drink, cook and shower with, fuel to heat their homes with and lights that turn on and off. It hurts my heart that there are so many in our community who go without the basics simply because they fall on hard times.”

“Ms. Herman came to me initially for help with paying her rent. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, she came to me for help with kerosene to heat her house. We were able to put 150 gallons of kerosene in her tank. Knowing she had enough to keep her heat on during the cold nights filled me with pride in the work we do at The Salvation Army.”

“The Salvation Army wants to help people,” Lillian agreed. “Heather is a wonderful person who cares deeply for people. That lady does an awful lot and she doesn’t even realize the difference she’s made in my life.”

Although our Emergency Assistance Program was temporarily shut down for a few weeks in March at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, in April, The Salvation Army East Stroudsburg Corps has provided 18 households in Monroe County with Rental and Energy Assistance.

“It’s what we do,” Heather said easily. “It’s just in my blood. My parents both devoted their lives to The Salvation Army, and we were raised to do the same. After 26 years of serving our amazing community, there’s nothing in the world I would rather be doing.”

“Listen, I would utilize the Salvation Army Food Pantry if it were in my area because you all make me feel like I am important, that I don’t need to be ashamed to ask for help,” Lillian said. “And every little bit helps, especially when trying to buy food consistently for my cats. So, some weeks, when I cook for me, I cook for them too. They are God’s creatures just the same as you and me. If I eat, they eat. Simple. Because sharing is caring.”

If you, or anyone you know, needs help with rental, water, fuel or energy assistance, please call 570-421-3050 or send an email to

(No Photo Available Due to Social Distancing Requirements)