Cases 82-84: Grandfather, 83, is raising five grandchildren

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100 Neediest

Drawing by Leila Awasthi of MICDS.

CASE 82 • Mr. R is a struggling 83-year-old veteran raising five grandchildren, between the ages of 7 and 14, on Social Security benefits of $1,006 a month. He gets $15 in food stamps. He does what he can to make ends meet for his family. Mr. R suffers from short-term memory loss, arthritis in both knees and hypertension. He’s trying to keep his family together and would be thankful for any help provided for his family.

CASE 83 • When D was a baby, her foster mother, M, adopted her. Their small loving family suffers from an array of health concerns. D, now 14 years old, has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, Bipolar Affective Disorder and ADHD. D’s behavior can be unpredictable and she struggles in school, so she meets with counselors and mental health professionals several times a week. Meanwhile, her mother suffers ongoing side effects from receiving a kidney transplant several years ago. M also suffers severe neuropathy and is diabetic. She receives Social Security benefits because she cannot work. M would like to make repairs to their home, which she says is “falling apart.” M would also like to give her daughter a happy holiday, but she is falling behind on bills.

CASE 84 • Ms. A is taking care of six children. The 44-year-old has her three teenage children and a year-old grandson living with her. The father of the grandson was murdered. The boy’s mother, Ms. A’s daughter, is 17 and too young to qualify for state assistance, and her search for a job has so far gone nowhere. Ms. A is also supporting two other grandchildren. Her assistance provides shelter for them and keeps the children from going into state custody. Despite working full time, Ms. A has fallen behind on her bills. She needs help to cover the basics: rent, utilities, groceries. Her home needs appliances and furnishings, such as an electric stove, a washer and dryer, beds and a dining room table. Her family needs clothing and shoes.

Case profiles by Denise Hollinshed, Rachel Rice and Lisa Eisenhauer 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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