Cases 76-78: Woman caring for father suffers miscarriage, loses job

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100 Neediest

Drawing by Bianca Sforza of MICDS.

CASE 76 • Ms. S’s grief and responsibilities have overwhelmed her this year. In one week, her father had a disabling stroke and her aunt died. This single parent of three became her dad’s primary caretaker. Because of those obligations, she missed work and lost her job. Amid the stress, she had a miscarriage, became depressed, got behind on bills and lost her car. Ms. S has since found work but can’t afford to give her children — an 8-year-old daughter and two special-needs boys, ages 1 and 4 — a nice Christmas. The children would appreciate age-appropriate learning games. Ms. S would be grateful for help with rent, utilities, household items and winter clothing.

CASE 77 • In 36 years, Ms. C has faced domestic violence and was the victim of a random shooting. She can’t use her left arm after the shooting, so she struggles to find employment. She’s rearing three children, ages 2, 10 and 19, and is homeless. Ms. C is also in recovery for drug abuse. She is trying to meet her children’s needs while she focuses on her recovery. She needs help paying outstanding utility bills and would like clothing and toys for her children for Christmas. Ms. C could also use a cellphone and professional clothing as she searches for employment.

CASE 78 • Ms. L is a 47-year-old mother of three teenage sons. All of them have developmental and mental disabilities. Ms. L has rheumatoid arthritis, which limits her mobility. She is doing her best to take care of her family, but it’s a struggle to keep life in order and pay her monthly bills. The family could use a hand getting caught up with utility bills and covering repairs to a much-needed vehicle. They also need some basic home goods, such as a dresser, a queen-size mattress set and a couch.

Case profiles by Jennifer Selph, Beth O’Malley 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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