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Cases 62-64: Expanded family struggles with trauma

Case 62: Life hasn’t been easy for Ms. R and her family, yet theirs is a house filled with love. The family experienced tragedy several years ago when the mother of Ms. R’s fiance’s three children was fatally shot in front of those children. Ms. R welcomed the children, expanding their family to nine children. The children see a therapist but still struggle with the trauma. They have not received Christmas gifts in two years. During the pandemic, Ms. R became a stay-at-home mother while her fiance worked. Ms. R started a job in September, yet struggles with bills. Beds and winter clothing top her wish list.

Case 63: A survivor of domestic violence, Ms. L struggles to care for her four children. She suffered emotional trauma and property loss and is unable to work because of major depression. The family’s limited income means they rarely make ends meet. One daughter has learning disabilities and behavior problems. The children could use clothes; gift cards for household items would help brighten the family’s holiday.

Case 64: Just a few months ago, Ms. J’s eldest adult daughter died of heart failure and COVID-19. In her grief, Ms. J, who is 51 and legally blind, stepped up to raise her 9-year-old grandson. Her family, including her son, 15, who has autism, neurofibromatosis Type I and ADHD, has struggled with the trauma of losing a mother, daughter and sister. Ms. J is responsible for paying her daughter’s medical bills. Ms. J also became the caregiver for her 6-year-old grandson after another daughter suffered a nervous breakdown. The family is supported by Ms. J’s Social Security benefits and food stamps. Beds, a washing machine and utility assistance top Ms. J’s wish list.

Case profiles by Liz Miller and Jane Henderson of the Post-Dispatch.

To give

ADOPT A CASE: For highest-need cases, the program supplies donors with a list of a family's needs. Donors are asked to provide at least one gift or gift card for each individual in the family. Everything goes directly to the family, through a social worker.

DONATE: Monetary gifts to the 100 Neediest Cases general fund are used to help almost 4,000 cases, and go directly to the families.

FUNDRAISE: Encourage friends, family and others to join you in helping. Set up a fundraising page for your adopted family or the program overall, and have an even bigger impact.

TO HELP: Visit 100neediestcases.org or mail a check payable to "100 Neediest Cases" (no cash) to P.O. Box 955925, St. Louis, Mo. 63195. 

Tradition

The tradition of 100 Neediest Cases campaign dates to 1922, when civic leaders formed the Christmas Bureau. The Post-Dispatch has partnered with the program for more than five decades, renaming it 100 Neediest Cases in 1954.

HOW IT WORKS: Social service agencies, working through the United Way, identify thousands of needy families. Volunteers then select 100 cases to be profiled in the newspaper to raise awareness.

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