Cases 79-81: Children reluctant to go to school without appropriate clothes, supplies

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100 Neediest

Drawing by Landy Zhou of Thomas Jefferson School.

CASE 79 • Mr. B, 37, has been working multiple odd jobs to keep a roof over his family’s head. He lives with his three children and his disabled mother, and is struggling to keep up with bills and the rent. It’s difficult for Mr. B to hold a steady job because he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and has only recently gotten back on medication after being hospitalized. His children depend on him; they were removed from their mother’s home a few years ago. Mr. B would appreciate any assistance with rent and utility bills, and clothes and shoes for his 17-year-old daughter, 15-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son.

CASE 80 • Ms. R, 49, moved to St. Louis after her son was murdered in 2014, and has been caring for her two grandchildren. She struggled to find work and was homeless for several months before an assistance program helped her find housing. She drives a school bus for a local district but doesn’t have summer employment. One of her grandchildren has anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She struggles with monthly bills and would appreciate help with buying toys and children’s clothing for her 7- and 8-year-old grandchildren for Christmas. She could also use household items such as bedding and winter coats.

CASE 81 • Ms. D is a single mother to seven children, five boys and two girls, ranging from 1 to 16. Their mother has her hands full with her three youngest, whom she cannot afford to put in day care, plus two of her school-age children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, causing her to have to visit their schools frequently. Ms. D suffers from anxiety, bipolar disorder and depression, which have made it difficult for her to find a job. The family is falling behind on bills, and Ms. D often feels overwhelmed.

Case profiles by Celeste Bott, Beth O’Malley and Rachel Rice 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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