AP NEWS

The Giving Fund to help struggling families, children in need

December 27, 2018

Struggling young families, a cancer patient buried under medical bills and a family displaced by a fire are all members of the Danbury-area community who need extra help this holiday season.

The Giving Fund, a partnership between The News-Times and United Way of Western Connecticut, gives donors the opportunity to have an immediate impact on families and neighbors by providing resources to help resolve urgent needs.

United Way administers the fund free of charge, so 100 percent of donations go directly to those who need it. Donations are collected for each case until it is fully funded. Since the partnership started, more than $500,000 has been raised for families in need.

Each story illustrates a real need and every dollar goes directly to members of the community.

To support one of these or another community member this year, choose the corresponding case number at The Giving Fund donation page. Checks can also be mailed to The Giving Fund, P.O. Box 1001, Danbury, CT 06813.

Here are this season’s final six cases:

Sam is a young father with a failing kidney and has found himself in and out of dialysis treatment as he waits for a donor match. His work hours have been reduced during his treatment and his family is struggling. Sam recently received good news when he was notified of a kidney donor and has surgery planned in February. Despite the good news, Sam will be out of work for three months. His family already cannot afford in-home care, so his wife also will now have reduced work hours to care for him.

A gift of $900 will help cover the mortgage until everyone is able to return to full time work. To contribute, select case 129.

Sally and her two teenage daughters were displaced by a fire that recently swept through their condominium complex. They were living separately until they were able to move back into their home recently. Most of their belongings were destroyed by fire and water damage and not everything was able to be replaced through insurance, so this small family is experiencing a great deal of financial strain.

A gift of $450 will help Sally and her daughters purchase new mattresses and bedding. To contribute, select case 130.

Maria and Marco are a hard-working family of four of modest means. They do not have friends or family in the area and frequently turn to their faith and church for camaraderie and support. The family recently found themselves without a home of their own and are sharing a room in an apartment with a friend from church. Marco already works long hours and recently took another part-time job to save money to get their home back. Maria was able to find affordable child care for her two children and has started her first full-time job.

A gift of $300 will help pay for food, personal care items and other basic needs that the family has to do without until they can get back on their feet again. To contribute, select case 131.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith have three young children who are 9, 6 and 5 years old. Their youngest child was diagnosed with low-functioning autism and requires constant care and supervision. Mr. Smith works full time at a physically demanding job while Mrs. Smith had to leave her job to tend to their youngest when the family could not afford the care he requires. They somehow manage to meet the needs of their children and often express gratitude for the things they do have, but with only one income, they are having trouble with basic living expenses like utilities and bills.

A gift of $500 would help provide the children some warm winter clothing, boots and extra groceries. To contribute, select case 132.

Mr. and Mrs. Bleu are an upbeat and positive couple, but an unforeseen issue temporarily displaced them and their three children from their home. Lilly, their preteen daughter, has never had a room of her own, instead always sharing with two younger siblings. She will finally have a room that she can call her own when the family returns home, but the costs of being out of their home has put a financial strain on this family during the holidays.

A gift of $300 would provide Lilly with a new bedroom set and things that will bring unique personality to her room. To contribute, select case 133.

Frank and Eleanor Matthews and their five children live a very modest life. Frank works as a mechanic and Eleanor as a school bus driver, when she is feeling well enough. Eleanor has undergone cancer treatment for three years and mounting medical bills are straining the family. Their oldest son recently graduated high school and works with his dad in an effort to help support the family. Simple tasks like shopping grocery shopping have forced Frank and Eleanor to make some tough choices.

A gift of $350 will help to heat their home this winter and buy healthy food to feed their family. To contribute, select case 134.