Cases 24-25: Woman loses job; needs to provide for children, foster children and a grandchild

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100 Neediest

Drawing by Caroline Abel of MICDS won third place in this year's 100 Neediest Cases student artwork contest.

CASE 24 • Ms. B developed severe arthritis in her knees working for years in a physically demanding job. But it was worth it to keep her family afloat. Then, after 11 years, she was laid off. She has been able to scrape by on unemployment, but with two children, two foster children and a grandchild in her home, she worries that won’t last. Ms. B is hopeful that an upcoming interview will lead to a desk job that won’t strain her knees. Meanwhile, any support — rent assistance, household goods, furniture and clothing — would be a blessing.

CASE 25 • Ms. M and her husband fled to the U.S. with their two small children to escape gang violence and threats. The refugee family gets by on the father’s jobs in construction and landscaping. But the work is waning in the cold weather, and paychecks are not enough to cover rent and utilities. These parents are struggling with the stress of a new life that remains unstable. They would like help with rent and utility bills, food, diapers, dishes, bedding, winter clothing and a crib.

Case profiles by Colleen Schrappen and Doug Moore of the Post-Dispatch.

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 individual in the family. Everything goes directly to the family, through a social worker.

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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 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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