Cases 53-55: Woman embraces children who need a home

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100 Neediest

Drawing by Kia Smidt of Edwardsville High School.

CASE 53 • Though she’s disabled by kidney failure, Ms. V, 62, has a heart big enough to care for somebody else’s children. Many of them. She took in five under the age of 10 last year. Their mother dropped them off at Ms. V’s home. She’s also guardian of her 13-year-old granddaughter. Ms. V had to move into a bigger place to accommodate everybody. But she stabilized their lives and enrolled them in school. Now she’s behind on bills, and the transmission on her car recently blew.

CASE 54 • Ms. D has struggled with drug addiction for more than a decade, but she has been sober for the last seven months and is in outpatient rehab — even though she has to get a ride or travel an hour by bus. Her husband had two strokes and is now paralyzed from the waist down and unable to work. Many of their bills have gone unpaid during the family’s struggles, and they are hoping for some help with utility bills and also for some clothes and gifts for their daughters, ages 8 and 11.

CASE 55 • Ms. S is a working mother raising five children. A year ago, she managed to save enough to move to a better neighborhood with better schools. She started to see immediate improvement in her children’s grades. But this spring, a fire next door pushed them out of their new home, forcing them to stay in hotels and later with relatives after their hotel assistance expired. They found a new place at the end of summer, but the moves set them back financially. Any help to give the kids a happier Christmas would be appreciated.

Case profiles by Jesse Bogan, Robert Patrick 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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