Cases 70-72: Woman and five children share one mattress

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100 Neediest

Drawing by Paige Slinkard of St. Louis Community College.

CASE 70 • Ms. S, 34, is having a difficult time because a broken ankle has rendered her unable to work. She is the mother of an 8-year-old son but also has custody of her two young nieces and two young nephews because her sister’s mental illness has left her unable to care for them. With only one mattress for the entire household, Ms. S is asking for bedding, four twin mattresses and one baby crib for her 1-year-old niece. The children also need shoes and winter coats. Christmas presents for the children would be appreciated, such as a basketball and hoop, dolls and bikes. Ms. S also would welcome financial help with utility bills.

CASE 71 • Struggling to raise nine children on his own, Mr. M is a single dad trying not to disappoint his family this holiday season. His monthly salary isn’t enough to cover the food, clothing and utilities needed to keep his children ages 1 to 17 warm and safe. He would like to make plans for the holiday that include toys as well as the necessities for his large and loving family.

CASE 72 • Ms. P has had a mastectomy for breast cancer. She’s blind in one eye. The costs of home repairs and bills are becoming increasingly difficult for her to cover. She could use whatever help she can get to keep her head above water.

Case profiles by Celeste Bott, Blythe Bernhard 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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