CASE 13 • Five years ago, Ms. T opened her two-bedroom home to three nieces and a nephew. She sleeps on the couch so the 11-year-old boy can have a room of his own. His three sisters share the other bedroom. Ms. T has lost her job and is tapping her retirement funds to make ends meet. She loves caring for the children and wishes she could afford to enroll them in more after-school and enrichment activities. She also could use help with utility bills and rent. The children would be overjoyed to receive computers, bikes or games on Christmas morning.
CASE 14 • M is 10 years old and lives with her grandmother, 72, and an aunt, 40, who has a developmental disability and requires around-the-clock care. The family is paying off a large car repair bill, and their home is in disrepair with a crumbling retaining wall, a hole in the attic and fixes needed to the roof. The problems have brought pests into the house. This holiday season, the family could use financial help to pay the bills and fix the house. M would also like a doll.
CASE 15 •M, 24, cares for her parents who are both in their 50s and disabled. She also has a son, 3, and a daughter, 2. She washes all their clothes by hand because the washing machine broke. They also need beds, a kitchen table and a dresser. They’re stressed because they don’t want to buy Christmas presents for one another that they can’t afford. They’d like cash or gift certificates, and toys for the children.
Case profiles by Colleen Schrappen, Erin Heffernan and Valerie Schremp Hahn of the Post-Dispatch.