Cases 47-49: Girl's brutal attack scars family

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100 Neediest

Drawing by Julia Huddleston, of DeSoto High School.

CASE 47 • Ms. S’s daughter was kidnapped when she was just 12 years old. Her throat was slashed and she was left for dead. The girl survived, and her attacker has been jailed. Now, the family is struggling to make ends meet as they cope with her recovery. Ms. S recently returned to work after taking time off to care for her daughter. She’s behind on bills, has outstanding parking tickets, the gas has been disconnected and the electricity could be next. She has a son, 16, and two other daughters, ages 10 and 3. Any donations would be welcome.

CASE 48 • After losing everything in a fire in July, Ms. J and her family could use help to get back on their feet. Ms. J works to provide for her three children, one of whom is pregnant, and her mother, who also lives with them. But it’s been a financial and emotional struggle trying to rebuild. Immediate needs include clothing, household items, cleaning supplies, toiletry items and food. Ms. J, 46, also asks for help fixing her home. The wiring and appliances all need repair. Any assistance would be appreciated.

CASE 49 • Ms. A has faced challenges her whole life. Now 25, and the mother of three, she has struggled with depression since childhood. She has also had chronic fatigue, headaches and other problems. She finally has a diagnosis: Chiari malformation, a condition in which brain tissue pushes into the spinal canal. Her third child, a 3-year-old girl, weighed 1 pound at birth and spent her first five months in intensive care. The girl is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, needs a ventilator to breathe and is fed through a tube. Ms. A struggles to pay her bills and put food on the table. Donations could help this family with rent, food and clothing.

Case profiles by Christine Byers, Celeste Bott and Jeremy Kohler 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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