Kate is a 72-year-old widow who earns part of her income by driving seniors with limited mobility to appointments. She feels a strong bond with seniors going through Alzheimer’s and holds a special place in her heart for them. She lost her husband suddenly while she was in the hospital suffering from her own medical issues. Doctors told Kate that she would not be able to attend her husband’s funeral, but she found a way. And that has been Kate’s way always: to find a way. Things have been especially difficult lately, as Kate has had reduce her work hours due to numerous health issues, including cancer, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Because of her reduced work hours, she has been finding it difficult to pay her rent and monthly bills. She is also trying to find a way to stay afloat while she undergoes much needed surgery. A gift of $1,400 will help Kate by covering some of her rent, utilities, and monthly bills.
Jeanette works full time as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and is the single mother of two young boys. On her days off, she takes classes to learn the skills she needs to get a better-paying job with better potential for long-term, higher-wage employment. Jeanette was raised in foster care and married young, anxious to have a family of her own. Unfortunately, the marriage did not last. When her ex-husband lost his job earlier this year, Jeanette became the sole supporter of her family. She values independence and works hard to provide for her sons. A gift of $1,500 would give Jeanette more financial stability, help her to start the new year with her bills paid, and maybe set aside a little savings so she will have peace of mind.
Freda’s life was focused on being a dutiful wife and mother of two children, until she found herself alone and abandoned. She is out of her abusive marriage, but she lives far away from her extended family and any support they could provide. Despite feeling overwhelmed and demeaned, Freda knew she had to move ahead, get a job, and start a new life with her small children. She made a great start, attending classes to improve her skills and prepare her to rejoin the workforce. Freda now has a job and a small apartment, and she and her two children appreciate their modest life. Freda is grateful that her job is accessible via the city bus, but transportation costs take up a big chunk of her budget. A gift of $1,000 would help her cover transportation expenses and give her family a stronger start for the new year.
For the past 20 years, Emma has been raising her niece’s children. Their mother has been battling substance abuse problems since she was a young adult. The oldest is 21 and is no longer living with Emma, but she is still raising the younger children, ages 16, 14, and 13. She had been working on and off as she was able, but recently her niece became pregnant again, and she was asked to take in the baby through foster care. This required her to give up her part-time job. Although she receives some compensation for caring for the baby, it does not make up for the money she loses by not working. Now that the older children are in their teens, they do not celebrate Christmas with a lot of gifts. But Emma would like them to each have a gift card so they can purchase clothes and shoes. She also needs funds for utility and garbage pick-up bills, to purchase food, and to tune up her car. A gift of $1,000 would help this family through the holidays, until Emma is able to get back to work.
Nora is a kind, compassionate woman in her early 80s. She enjoys knitting hats and blankets with love and care, which she donates to homeless shelters, hospitals, and hospice providers. Nora’s husband passed away more than 30 years ago. She worked hard to maintain her home and meet the needs of her children without ever asking for assistance—even now. Her town social worker recently overheard her talking about the cost of replacing her broken furnace. She lives solely off of Social Security and has no savings to replace the furnace, which is on its last legs. A gift of $1,000 will help Nora get the new furnace she needs and keep her warm for the rest of her life.