Cases 85-86: Boyfriend's shooting leaves woman overwhelmed

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100 Neediest

Drawing by Livi Warren of MICDS won second place in this year's 100 Neediest Cases student artwork contest.

CASE 85 • Ms. L’s boyfriend was shot 13 times and run over while trying to protect her from a man who had hit their car in a parking lot. He spent two months in the hospital and may never walk again. Ms. L is now behind on bills and is caring for her four children as well as her boyfriend’s niece and nephew so they won’t be taken into state custody while their mother is behind bars. Ms. L says she is trying her best but, “It seems like the rainbow is so far away.” She would like money for bills, rent, food and the children’s education.

CASE 86 • The rare, chronic, incurable and painful skin condition Ms. A, a single mother of three young children, was diagnosed with is threatening her life. It is getting worse, making it more difficult to provide for her children. The oldest child is 10 years old and has been diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Ms. A, 29, is in and out of the hospital and has undergone multiple surgeries. Disability benefits are her only income, because her medical condition leaves her unable to work. She struggles to provide for her children and receives little support from family and friends. Ms. A needs help paying for household expenses such as eyeglasses for herself and her 10-year-old son, three beds for her children to sleep in, and help with their medical bills. Ms. A would also appreciate donations of video games and toys for her children.

Case profiles by Robert Patrick and Nassim Benchaabane 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 meet at least one of the stated needs and provide at least one present for each person 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 4,300 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: Call 314-421-6060 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, 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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