Cases 24-26: Family is evicted after mother loses job

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100 Neediest Cases student artwork

100 Neediest Cases student artwork by Austin Miller of Desoto Senior High School

CASE 24 • Since Ms. Q lost her job at the beginning of the year, she’s bounced from one employer to another, struggling to provide for her three young daughters. Then, she got an eviction notice. On top of that, the medical device installed in her head as a baby to treat excess brain fluid has begun to fail, causing intense headaches and blindness in one eye. Brain surgery is her only option. She is running out of possibilities to get back on her feet. Ms. Q would appreciate help with bills. Her children would like bikes, roller skates and a dollhouse.

CASE 25 • Ms. A works hard to avoid debt, but $8.30 an hour doesn’t cover all her bills. Last year, she used her tax refund to pay off her van. A short time later, an uninsured driver hit the van and totaled it. Ms. A is never able to buy her four children the Christmas gifts they want, including bikes for her 8- and 6-year-olds. Her older children would like gift certificates, and the family could use a replacement van.

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CASE 26 • Ms. M has been unemployed for four months. She and her three children, ages 1, 2 and 5, lost their home and have been sleeping with friends and relatives and in their car. Last month, someone broke into their car and stole all their clothes and shoes as well as Ms. M’s phone. The family could use toys, clothing and household items to help them get back on their feet.

Case profiles by Jacob Barker and Marcia L. Koenig 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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