Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (CNN) - For years, Jennifer Cervantes struggled to make ends meet.
She worked 30 hours a week at Wal-Mart, but her paycheck - along with child support and disability payments - never seemed to cover living expenses for her and her five kids. Despite her best efforts, she kept falling further behind.
"Paying the rent, electric and gas - it takes everything I have," she said. "I don't like digging up change ... so I can buy the kids' food. I needed help somehow, somewhere."
Desperate, Cervantes decided to write a letter to Sal Dimiceli, whose newspaper column might be considered a "Dear Abby" for the down and out.
Within a few weeks, Dimiceli showed up on her doorstep. They talked for a while, and then he offered to pay one month's rent as well as her outstanding gas and electric bills. He also went to the local grocery store and stocked the family's empty refrigerator.
"I was shocked," Cervantes said. "I feel relieved. The kids are getting tired of macaroni cheese and Ramen soup every night."
It was just another day's work for Dimiceli, a 60-year-old real estate broker whose weekly column in the Lake Geneva Regional News focuses on people in dire straits. Through his column and his nonprofit, The Time Is Now To Help, Dimiceli has provided about 500 people a year with food, rent, utilities and other necessities.
Today was Kiran's last day with American Morning. See here goodbye message here.
In a major setback for Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team, the House was forced to delay a vote last night on his plan to raise the nation's debt-ceiling, as conservative lawmakers continued to question if the plan would do enough to reign in the national debt.
However, even if the Boehner plan does pass the House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has promised that the Democratic-controlled Senate will block it.
Today on American Morning, Stephen Moore joins Ali Velshi and Christine Romans to weigh in on if Boehner will be able to get the conservatives on board and to discuss if the bill will satisfy credit ratings agencies and investors.
Among Americans vacationing this summer, almost half say that they will, or did, work on their vacation, according to a recent online poll conducted by Harris Interactive.
The poll also showed that of those people, 35% admitted to monitoring their email and 22% said they checked their voicemail or occasionally took phone calls.
Is it possible to take a truly tech-free vacation and disconnect from all the devices in your everyday?
Today on American Morning, Mark Orwoll, international editor for Travel + Leisure, offers tips on the best ways to truly "disconnect" from your hectic professional life while on vacation.
More than four hours after lawmakers in the House were expected to vote on Speaker Boehner's plan to raise the debt-ceiling, the GOP caucus announced that they were delaying the vote, revealing a deep rift within the party that could undermine the their latest attempt to avoid a national default.
The House Republican caucus then announced a previously unscheduled meeting for 10 a.m. Friday. In an indication of the seriousness of the debt-ceiling issue in Congress, Reid also announced that Senate Democrats will hold their own meeting at the same time.
David Gergen, CNN senior political analyst, joins Kiran Chetry on American Morning today to discuss what conservatives are finding fault with in Boehner's bill and to weigh in on whether or not it is expected to pass today.
House Speaker John Boehner was unable to muster sufficient support from the hardline fiscal conservatives in his caucus to pass his debt-ceiling plan in the House yesterday, causing the expected vote on the bill to be delayed.
Representative Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina and a Tea Party freshman, is one of the members of Congress who Boehner failed to win over last evening.
Gowdy joins Christine Romans today on American Morning to discuss whether progress was made in last night's meeting with the GOP caucus and to weigh in on what it will take for him to support the debt-ceiling bill.
"I view my job as the Congressman for the Fourth Congressional District in South Carolina is to vote the collective conscience of my constituents which is this: We have a $14 trillion problem. The notion of giving the President a clean debt increase was never going to happen," Gowdy says in the interview.
He adds, "What we'll do today, I predict will be done today, is for the third time, send a plan that raises the debt ceiling in a responsible way."