Cases 29-30: Father of 6 is hospitalized with pneumonia, loses job

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100 Neediest Cases student artwork

100 Neediest Cases student artwork by Ilana Meissner of MICDS

CASE 29 • Mr. and Mrs. W lost their 18-year-old son when he was shot while sitting on a friend’s porch. Since then, the couple have had to move their six children because their rental house became unstable and also flooded. Mr. W. lost his construction job after spending eight days hospitalized in intensive care for pneumonia. Mrs. W. recently found out she is pregnant. Neither is employed right now and they could use help with rent, utilities, winter clothing (including maternity clothes), toys and bunk beds for the kids.

CASE 30 • Ms. A is determined to keep her family together. She took custody of three grandchildren after her oldest daughter was incarcerated. Another baby is on the way, and her 21-year-old daughter still lives with her. Ms. A, 57, works full time, but it’s getting more difficult because of severe arthritis in her knee and blood clots in her legs. A past-due sewer bill is weighing on her, and the sewer district is close to putting a lien on her home in order to collect. She’s under a lot of stress, but she hopes for help to pay the sewer bill so she can keep a home for her family.

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Case profiles by Marcia L. Koenig and Jacob Barker 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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