Giving Fund: Area residents, families in need of help

December 20, 2018

As the holiday seasons presses on, some area families are in need of some extra help.

Among the 10 cases this week are a Bridgeport student in need of help to buy supplies as he plans to start college, a family looking to afford warm coats after moving into a shelter and a mother of two who needs help covering car repairs.

For the 10th consecutive year, the Connecticut Post has partnered with United Way to provide stories of those in the community in need of monetary help this holiday season.

Donations can be made to The Giving Fund, a philanthropic partnership between United Way, LifeBridge of Bridgeport and the Connecticut Post. Coupons are provided in print for donations. Online donations can be made at https://bit.ly/2UWVaFx.

As of Wednesday, 61 Connecticut Post readers have donated $10,925 to Giving Fund cases. The needs have been fully met for the following 2018 cases: 001, 010, 019, 021, 024, 027 and 030.

All cases for 2018 can be found at https://www.ctpost.com/givingfund/.

At this point last year, 66 Connecticut Post readers had donated $12,893 to cases. David Kennedy, chief operating officer of United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, said the 2017 donations included a group gift from 90 employees at one company.

Every Wednesday online and every Thursday in print, true stories are shared of area residents struggling to make ends meet. Though the stories are true, the names of the people have been changed.

The total request for this week is $4,370.

Rena — Case 041

Rena and her husband have 4-year-old twins, but she was recently laid off from her job and is seeking employment. The twins are in preschool but Rena and her husband are behind on their school tuition because she was laid off. A gift of $400 would help them catch up on the tuition and continue their childrens’ education.

Bill — Case 042

Bill is a 21-year-old trying to keep his family warm, but he recently lost his job and needs some money to help buy clothes for himself and his family. Bill is involved with LifeBridge’s Face Forward Program and got his certificate in construction. After being laid off, Bill was forced to move into a shelter in Bridgeport with his girlfriend and his child. He is actively searching for work. Bill’s family wasn’t able to bring all the family’s belongings when they moved into the shelter. A gift of $500 would help Bill buy warm coats, shoes and other supplies for his family this winter.

Nelson — Case 043

Nelson starts college in January and needs some help paying for supplies. The 19-year-old Bridgeport resident and client of the Tech Connections Program at LifeBridge needs some clothes and school supplies as he plans to start Housatonic Community College in January for the spring semester. Nelson is an only child, living with his mom, who is unable to help him pay for school supplies. A gift of $400 would make sure Nelson is ready to begin his classes next month.

Macy — Case 044

Macy has taken on the responsibility of raising her 3-year-old grandson. She has been a Bridgeport resident since she was a young girl. She raised her five children in the city. Macy endured domestic violence, homelessness, sexual assault and debilitating physical and psychological difficulties. She recently accepted the challenge of raising her grandson, embracing it as she did adopting his mother when she was born 25 years ago. A gift of $500 would help Macy get her home ready and help with any possible financial burdens during the holiday season.

Art — Case 045

Art needs some help relieving his financial burden this holiday season. He’s a father of three young children, living in Bridgeport. He hasn’t been able to work for the past three years because of a back injury, but has performed small jobs to help his wife with financial needs. Art’s second child has Noonan’s syndrome, a rare childhood illness that requires special care. A gift of $350 would bring relief to Art’s family and help them keep pushing forward.

Katie — Case 046

Katie needs a place to rest when she’s not feeling well. Katie, a caring and loving great-grandmother living in Bridgeport, has been living independently for the past few months after living in a nursing home for several years. She is 93 years old and sometimes has days when she isn’t feeling well. Even on those days, she puts other needs before her own. A gift of $450 would help Katie buy a rocking chair, cushion and throw blanket to rest when she doesn’t feel well.

Dory — Case 047

Dory could use some help to cover repairs on her car. She is a 21-year-old longtime client of LifeBridge. She has two small children in day care and works part-time at a factory. Dory has a car at home that isn’t working because it needs rotors, brakes, wipers and tires. Right now, Dory has been relying on the bus to get to work and drop her children off at day care. A gift of $500 would help Dory get her car fixed.

Sam — Case 048

Sam’s computer keeps crashing and he’s in need of a new one. Sam, a 16-year-old living in Bridgeport, is a client of the Tech Connections Program at LifeBridge. He attends Bridge Academy and is in need of a computer because his keeps crashing. Sam’s mom is a single mother with five children and can’t afford to buy Sam a new computer for Christmas. His Tech Connections program only pays $7.25 an hour and he only works six hours per week, making it difficult for him to save up on his own. A gift of $350 would help Sam afford a new computer.

Jennie — Case 049

Jennie is in need of bus passes to get to her new job. Jennie, a single mother of two children living in Bridgeport, has been working to support her family as she takes courses at night to get her Associate’s Degree. She lost her steady job in January when the business she worked for closed. She had been struggling to find a job that would allow her to care for her children after school. She found the perfect job two months ago and just passed her 60-day probation period. As she transitions into the new job, she is working to catch up on bills. A gift of $420 would cover the cost of six monthly bus passes to ensure Jennie’s transportation is covered so she gets to her job each day.

Ryan — Case 050

Ryan relies on his car to get to his regular doctor and health care appointments. He’s a single elderly man living in Bridgeport. He suffers from chronic circulatory health problems that require continuous health care. Ryan receives Social Security disability that barely covers his monthly rent. Each month, he struggles to cover costs for food, utilities and medical supplies not covered by Medicare. A gift of $500 would help Ryan keep up on his car’s necessary maintenance and help cover some of the car’s insurance costs.

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