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The Giving Fund: Many families struggle as holidays approach

November 28, 2018

Sam and Maria’s 4-year old daughter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in May 2017. A year later, Maria was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Maria’s cancer was caught in time and she is now recovering from surgery.

In the meantime though, Sam has been driving an hour to the hospital to continue the chemotherapy treatments for their youngest daughter, as well as for any emergency and other medical appointments. Sam is also helping to keep life as normal as possible for their 7-year old daughter and complete chores.

The wear and tear on the car from the long commute has added a financial burden. Sam has had to miss a significant amount of work as a driver for a transportation company and only gets paid for the hours he works.

For the family, $1,500 would help them catch up on their rent and utilities.

The News-Times partners each holiday season with United Way of Western Connecticut to help raise money for families like Sam and Maria’s through the The Giving Fund.

The organization administers the fund free of charge, so 100 percent of donations go directly to those who need it. Since the partnership started, more than $500,000 has been raised for families in need.

Donations are collected for each case until it is fully funded. Any donations received above the amount needed will benefit other, underfunded cases.

Donations can be given at https://www.uwwesternct.org/thegivingfund. Checks can also be mailed to The Giving Fund, P.O. Box 1001, Danbury, CT 06813.

This week’s six cases:

Case #107: Tessa, a single mother of three children, has worked two jobs to provide for her family after leaving an abusive marriage.

She was recently diagnosed with cancer and the chemotherapy has prevented her from working long hours.

Although Tessa’s prognosis is good, her income has greatly dropped, making things financially difficult for her during the holiday season.

A gift of $1,000 would help Tessa pay for utilities and groceries.

Case #108: A fire from several months ago has left a family struggling to repair their house and continue making mortgage payments.

Nancy and her husband Sam, live with their two young children. The couple, along with help from their adult children, worked hard and sacrificed to be able to buy the home.

If they can’t repair the water damage and roof, they may lose the house to the mortgaging bank and become homeless. A gift of $1,500 will help them cover these costs.

Case #109: Nelly and her 4-year-old daughter have been living in a shelter for several months.

Nelly has been working several jobs, including taking overnight shifts, and is looking for an apartment for her and her daughter.

She is close to being able to leave the shelter but the landlords insist on a two-month security deposit. A gift of $1,500 will help them hit this target and allow them to leave the shelter.

Case #1 10 : is Sam and Maria’s story.

Case #111: Keri and her mother quickly fled an abusive household with nothing more than the clothes on their back and are now living in a shelter.

While the clothing bank at the shelter has been able to provide some clothing for her mother, Keri has had a harder time finding clothes due to the plus sizes needed.

A gift of $600 will help her buy some warm clothing, a coat and boots for the rapidly approaching colder weather.

Case #112: Michael and Penny’s savings have depleted as they tackle health issues.

Penny is still in rehabilitation at a local nursing home following complications after her surgery and back and neck issues.

Michael has been trying to work, but is dealing with a bad shoulder in need of surgery. This surgery was scheduled, but put on hold due to Penny’s health issues. He also found out he has cancer. The tumor was removed last week.

The procedures and rehab have left the couple unable to pay for groceries, basic life necessities and their utility bills, which are significantly overdue. A $1,500 gift would help cover these expenses.

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