Cases 10-12: Leaky apartment, bed bugs torment family

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100 Neediest

Drawing by Sophia Weber of MICDS.

CASE 10 • During rainstorms, water leaks through the ceiling of the one-bedroom apartment Ms. D shares with her two children, a son, 4, and daughter, 2. The deluge wrecked a dresser and the clothes inside, which she can’t afford to replace. The leak is near her ceiling fan and light, so she can’t use either when it rains. Ms. D picks up extra shifts working at several stores to pay her bills, but bedbugs infested the family’s home recently and she had to get rid of her children’s beds. Now, they all share one bed. She asks for help to make a deposit on a new apartment, and to buy twin mattresses and comforter sets.

CASE 11 • Ms. W awoke one night to a neighbor knocking on her door yelling that the house was on fire. She grabbed her two girls, ages 5 and 2, and climbed out a second-floor window where they were rescued by a firefighter. They got out without major injuries, but most of the family’s possessions were destroyed by smoke and flames. Ms. W and her children are staying with relatives while they try to find a new home. The family could use toys for the children as well as money for utilities, clothing and household supplies.

CASE 12 • Mr. A has been living with Lou Gehrig’s disease for 21 years. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has slowly paralyzed him, taking away his ability to dress and cook, which was his passion. Now, at age 64, he can only watch as caregivers prepare his meals. He also depends on caregivers to bathe him and help him dress. He is proud to continue living on his own, keeping up with his rent and utility bills. But he has sacrificed buying some things he needs. Assistance with groceries, clothing, cleaning supplies, and nutritional drinks such as Ensure would help him remain in his home.

Case profiles by Leah Thorsen, Erin Heffernan and Beth O’Malley of the Post-Dispatch.

To give

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.

WAYS 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 the more than 4,000 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.

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