How to help a fired friend
November 7, 2012 5:38 PM Subscribe
How to help a close friend who was just fired?
posted by Laura Macbeth to human relations (15 answers total)
One of my closest friends, Brandon, was fired today. (He didn't do anything wrong, It was a wrongful termination by an unstable manager and failing company, but the legality isn't for this question.) I've known him and his wife, Kelly, since childhood and they're my chosen family. We're in our 30s.
They have a 4-year-old and a baby on the way in 3 months. Kelly brings in a small amount of money from a part-time job, but mostly stays home with the 4-year-old. They have a mortgage and some debt. They're relatively close to their families, but both families are the type who will guilt them about this and offer "help" with strings attached. Any help they've ever received has been strife with drama and guilt.
Brandon fortunately has marketable skills in high demand, but there's no telling when he will be employed again in this market. (We live in a major Midwestern city, but it's still tough out there.)
I'm doing well in my career and making more than enough money for myself. I have time, energy and resources to give to them.
What can I do to help them? These are two sturdy Midwestern folks who won't ask for help. I will need to offer concrete help, take a read if this is the help they want (they will have trouble accepting) and then just act, so it's a delicate psychological balance.
Have you been fired suddenly and faced a terrifying loss of income and health insurance? What did your friends and family do to make you feel better? What did they do that made you feel worse?
How do I offer money to help them through the holidays and birth of their baby? This is no-strings attached money and not a loan. I've thought about offering to pay for any COBRA insurance they might be eligible for or their mortgage, but I don't know the best way to approach this.
I want to know what I can do now and down the line to make sure they're supported completely. I've been in frequent contact with both Brandon and Kelly today, just being an ear.
Thanks for any advice you have.