Gift of Christmas 2019
Brighten a life this Christmas! Sponsor an individual or family through the Gift of Christmas Program and make their season as joyous as yours! Many of the families served at Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet rely on the generosity of our donors at Christmas to make the holidays bright. The following stories are the true stories of clients currently being served at Catholic Charities throughout the Diocese of Joliet.
To sponsor an individual or family this Christmas, simply choose the family and click HERE to donate. Or, if you’d prefer to call us with your donation, call Claudia at 815-724-1140. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Gift of Christmas 2019
Cole, 3 years old, and his family are facing hardship as his parents are in the process of getting divorced. Cole lives with his sisters and mother, but they have lost their home and car. The family is staying with Cole’s grandparents while his mother works two jobs and tries to save money to afford an apartment. Although this is a difficult time, Cole’s mother remains resilient and prioritizes the well-being of her children before anything else. A gift of $200 would provide Christmas gifts for this family – including superhero toys for Cole!
Tara, 28 years old, grew up without a stable family support system. She became pregnant at 15 years old and was involved in a toxic relationship with the child’s father for many years after. After her youngest child was born last year, Tara fled to a domestic violence shelter with her children. At the shelter, she learned to accept her past, but focus on her future. Today, Tara lives in an apartment as part of Catholic Charities’ Transitional Housing Program and is doing well. She volunteers at local organizations and constantly works on self-improvement. A gift of $250 will provide winter coats, boots, pajamas, and basic hygiene products for Tara’s family. In addition, they would love to have some fun items that they normally wouldn’t have access to, like family games, movie theater gift card, and passes to the zoo or children’s museum.
Sonya lives with her six children and one grandson after moving to the U.S. from a dangerous city in Central America. They came to this country after Sonia’s son was killed as he was leaving school one day. Fearful for their lives, they moved here over the summer and asked for asylum. While waiting for a decision, Sonya’s family stayed at Catholic Charities’ Hope House shelter. During their time at the shelter, all three of the adults in the household obtained employment and were able to save money and rent an apartment. A gift of $350 will help Sonya’s family purchase winter clothing, new tires for their car, and basic household and personal items.
Jackie is a single parent with four young children. She works full time with early morning hours and arrives home to pick up her children from school and spend time with them until bedtime. She works hard as a housekeeper and is on her feet all day long. Jackie’s four year old daughter is in Catholic Charities’ Head Start Program and is described as a very sweet, smart child who gets along well with everyone and enjoys being helpful. A gift of $300 would help Jackie provide Christmas gifts for her family, including dolls, Play-Doh, slime, puzzles and costumes.
Grace, 82 years old, has been struggling financially since husband passed away last year. This gentle and kind woman is often exhausted due to a serious medical condition. Recently, Grace reached out to Catholic Charities for help and is grateful for the support she has received. She maintains a positive attitude. A $150 gift card will provide Grace with some extras this Christmas!
Robin is a resilient four year old who attends Catholic Charities’ Head Start Program. Her family moved into her grandfather’s home last year after they were evicted from their apartment for unpaid rent. Robin has serious health concerns and complicated food allergies. However, she loves school so much that she cries when she has to stay home due to illness. Robin’s mom says that the little girl adores her school friends and talks about Head Start constantly. A gift of $250 will provide Robin with Christmas gifts, including dolls, supplies to “play school,” and anything with a Dora the Explorer theme!
Ally, 12 years old, was adopted by her foster mom several years ago. She experienced extensive trauma as a young child. Ally sees a Catholic Charities counselor to set goals for her future and work to overcome educational and emotional issues related to the experiences she had while living in a dysfunctional home. Although Ally’s adoptive mom works full time, she struggles to make ends meet. A $150 would provide new gym shoes, winter boots, a warm coat, backpack, and art supplies for Ally this Christmas.
Amy is a single mother who recently found out that she’s expecting her seventh child. Providing for her large family is very difficult and Amy struggles financially. Her car often breaks down and she sometimes has to use Uber to pick her children up from school. A gift of $350 will provide diapers/pull-ups, clothing, coats, and shoes for the children. Amy would also like to purchase prenatal vitamins and start getting items for the new baby.
Frank, 59 years old, has always moved around and never made true friends or meaningful connections with others. He lived all over the world and returned home when his mother became ill. After his mother passed away, Frank lived on his family’s farm. Unfortunately, he eventually lost the farm and became homeless. After spending years homeless, he moved into New Beginnings Permanent Supportive Housing at Daybreak Center, which is where he lives today. A $150 donation would help Frank afford what he wants more than anything – a video game system.
Baby Maria recently celebrated her first birthday with her parents and her five much older siblings. Although her mother had a difficult pregnancy, Maria is a thriving toddler who is meeting all of her developmental milestones. Her family participates in Catholic Charities’ Home Base program to provide support. Your gift of $350 will provide little Maria with a crib (she currently sleeps in bed with her parents), high chair, and clothing. Nearly all of the family’s limited income goes toward paying for rent and utilities, so they haven’t been able to afford many of the basics for Maria.
Judith, 62 years old, is raising her three young grandchildren. She has had custody of the children for four years. Judith recently started a full time job in healthcare, but still struggles to make ends meet. A gift of $250 would help Judith make Christmas special for her grandchildren – she is unable to afford gifts this year because her income only covers the family’s basic needs.
Hayley, four years old, and her mother live in an apartment together. Her mother has serious kidney problems and struggles to get Hayley to school. Medical bills leave very little money to pay for daily essentials. A gift of $200 would provide art supplies for Hayley – she loves to color and draw at school, but doesn’t have any supplies at home.
Nicole and her husband have three beautiful young children, two of whom attend Catholic Charities’ Head Start Program. Originally from Africa, the couple moved to the U.S. in search of better opportunities for their family. They have a strong faith in God, which hasn’t wavered as they face the challenges that come with adjusting to a new culture and environment. Nicole’s husband works diligently each day to provide basic necessities for the household. A gift of $250 will provide clothing, diapers, shoes, food, household items, and toys for this family.
Carol, 76 years old, recently lost her home is now staying at Daybreak Center. She is always in good spirits and everyone at the shelter enjoys spending time with her. Before falling on hard times, Carol enjoyed fishing, riding motorcycles, caring for cats, and spending time in nature. She hopes to live independently again sometime soon. A gift of $150 will replace the shoes, coats, and clothing that Carol lost when she became homeless. She has also specifically mentioned that she’d love to have some makeup.
Faith, 4 years old, is a student in Catholic Charities’ Head Start Program. The young girls is being raised by her single mother and they currently don’t have a home of their own and are staying with family members. They also don’t have a car and must walk wherever they need to go. Faith’s mom works full-time and badly wants to provide a more stable environment for her daughter. A gift of $200 will provide a wonderful Christmas for Faith, including toys and games that will stimulate her imagination and a Minnie Mouse toy that she’s been dreaming about!
Kathy, 69 years old, has multiple health problems and disabilities. In addition to managing her own health issues, Kathy financially and emotionally cares for her sister, who lives in a facility for seniors with a serious mental health diagnosis. The past three years have been particularly challenging for Kathy as she experienced divorce and homelessness. Today, Kathy lives in Catholic Charities’ TBRA program, which provides ongoing rent support for formerly homeless individuals. For the first time in many years, she has a great support system and the resources she needs to succeed. Kathy plans to move into senior housing soon and focus on her health and wellness. A $150 donation will provide storage bins for organizing her studio apartment, warm bedding for winter, and kitchen items because she loves to cook.
Dayna is a busy single parent with two young children and a full-time job. She also cares for her brother, who has disabilities from a stroke. Dayna is learning to speak English and is dedicated to providing a stable life for her kids. A gift of $200 will provide Christmas gifts for the children this year.
Matthew, 10, and Tyler, 9, are the youngest of six brothers, three of whom have an autism diagnosis. Their parents are divorced and the boys no longer see their father. Matthew and Tyler’s mother has a hard time financially supporting her large family. The boys see a Catholic Charities counselor to work through the challenges they face. They never complain about their difficult situation. A donation of $250 would help Matthew and Tyler’s mother buy new winter coats.
Rita is a single mother with a three year old son who participates in Catholic Charities’ Head Start program. She currently works part time and is trying to find full time employment. Rita always ensures that her son is well cared for. He’s always dressed nicely and his hair is done, even when she doesn’t have the resources to provide the same for herself. Rita has great attendance at school and is always smiling. Everyone notices how polite and kind he is with adults and other children. Your gift of $200 will help Rita provide Christmas gifts for her sweet son, including magnetic tiles, art supplies, and a Leap Frog pad.
Sabina and her husband are very involved in their community and take a great interest in the activities of their three children. They strongly value education and work with their children each day to make sure that they are keeping up with school. This family is a great team that always has meals together. A gift of $250 will provide Christmas gifts for Sabina’s children.
Kayla is a single mother with six children. The family is staying with extended family members while Kayla works toward getting her own place. She works full time and is saving as much money as she can. A gift of $350 will provide clothing, shoes, and winter coats to keep warm.
Anita and her two children recently moved from her grandparents’ home into an apartment of their own! She works full time to care for her children, but still struggles. A gift of $200 will provide household items (pots, pans, and towels) for the family’s new apartment. Anita has also requested clothes for her toddler, who is growing quickly.
Ray, four years old, lives with his mother and his three siblings. The family recently lost their home and moved in with Ray’s grandparents. Ray’s mother feels stressed as she tries to provide food, clothing and basic essentials for her family and is very appreciative for the services she receives from Catholic Charities. This mother suffers from chronic pain and cannot work due to serious back problems. Ray’s mother is described as a great mother who loves her children and does everything she can to provide for them. Ray adores his mom and recently had his entire preschool class sing “Happy Birthday” to her several times! A gift of $250 will provide dinosaur toys for Ray (his favorite!) and other learning experiences for Ray and his siblings this winter.
Dani is a single mother with two boys in Catholic Charities’ Head Start Program. Domestic violence has uprooted this small family several times and they currently don’t have a home of their own. As they stay with a family friend, the boys remain in school and Dani is very involved in their education. She volunteers, attends parent meetings, and even takes classes to become more involved in the program. Dani is a devoted mother who is focused on her children. A gift of $200 will purchase books and magnetic tiles for these imaginative young boys.
Hope, four years old, and her two siblings are being raised by a single mother. Her mom works part-time and finds it difficult to make ends meet for the children. They currently live in a two-bedroom apartment and the children all share one bedroom. A gift of $250 will provide warm winter coats for the children (Hope didn’t have a warm coat last winter).
Janese is a working, single parent of four children who recently moved her family in with her mother because her landlord would not make needed repairs to their apartment. She wants to move out as soon as possible and is saving money for a deposit on a new apartment. Your $250 donation would allow Janese to purchase hats, gloves, coats, blankets, bed sheets, and towels for her family.
Raven and her husband work long hours to support their six children. The youngest children are two year old twin girls who have disabilities. Despite having very busy schedules, Raven remains a very active member of the Head Start parent community. A gift of $350 will help provide clothes for this large family.
J.J. is a bright four year old who listens well in class and follows all directions. His mother supports their family of three as a housekeeper. She recently began using a food pantry to provide food for her children. A gift of $200 will help provide household items for J.J.’s family. Their wish list includes a stove, kitchen table, couch, microwave, and toaster.
Joy’s children have lived in fear for years. The mother and her four children lost their home when they escaped from an abuse relationship. The family left behind their home, most belongings, and a church community that they viewed as family. After their time in a domestic violence shelter, the family has moved into an apartment through Catholic Charities’ First Light housing program. Joy is interested in starting a nursing program and is eager to begin a career that will support her family. She works hard and is grateful for the help she receives from Catholic Charities. A gift of $300 will provide Christmas gifts for Joy’s children, including clothing, coats, pajamas, shoes, boots, bed sheets, towels, toys, and gift cards for movies and a restaurant.
Michelle and her daughters became homeless to escape her mother’s abusive boyfriend, who they were living with. They stayed in a car for several months. During the day, Michelle cares for an ill older relative and looks for steady work that would support her family. She wants to save money to purchase a trailer and live on rural land that her family owns. Michelle is artistic, creative, and a very caring mother. Michelle’s daughters are excellent students who love to read. A gift of $200 would provide clothing and household items for Michelle’s family, who lost nearly all of their belongings when they became homeless.
Lourdes and her seven year old daugher became homeless after she left an abusive relationship. She has experienced a lot of trauma and violence. At 27 years old, both of her parents have already passed away and she has a very limited support system. Lourdes works at a fast food restaurant, but doesn’t earn enough to support her family. She’s looking for a new job to earn more money and have more steady hours. Lourdes’ daughter is sweet, shy, and loves unicorns. A $200 donation would help Lourdes provide clothing and household items for her small family.
And here are the stories that appear in the November 2019 issue of Christ Is Our Hope Magazine:
Christina and Zach welcomed their ninth child in October after a very difficult pregnancy, which required frequent hospitalization. This strong mother prays often and knows that God has given her strength during this difficult time. The couple’s oldest child is a pediatric cancer survivor. Thankfully, he’s a healthy college freshman now (on the honor roll!), but this family has experienced surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and a difficult period of isolation for the boy during his treatment. A gift of $350 will provide winter coats, school supplies, pajamas, a crib, and bed sheets.
Floyd, 65 years old, has overcome tremendous physical barriers, including a recent severe brain aneurysm. He loves to walk for exercise and is very determined to regain his health. Due to an unsafe situation, Floyd had to quickly move earlier this year. Although he is now safe and enjoying his independence, his apartment is very sparse. This warm and grateful man is also enormously resilient and has worked hard to get through his challenges this year. A gift of $150 will help add some items to Floyd’s apartment, including a small TV and some pictures to hang on the walls (which are currently bare).
Viviana and her husband are a great couple who work very well together. Their four year old son has Down syndrome and has faced many challenges, but is a lively and happy little boy. The child is attends Catholic Charities Head Start program where he is adored by everyone. A gift of $200 will help this family purchase shoes and clothing for their quickly-growing toddlers. Viviana would also like to use the gift to buy more books for their home – they all love to read together!
Marianne, 64 years old, is raising her eight year old granddaughter and three year old grandson. She has had custody of the children for nearly their entire lives. This family lives on a low-income and has been struck twice by tragedy this year – a house fire and the sudden death of Marianne’s husband. Marianne is unable to afford Christmas gifts for the children this year. Your gift of $200 will provide much-loved gifts for Marianne’s grandchildren.
Sandra lives in a trailer (owned by her grandparents) with her four children. The home is in terrible condition – the ceiling is falling down and the toilet frequently breaks. Sandra’s car breaks down frequently and she has a hard time getting where she needs to go. A gift of $300 will provide much-needed warm winter clothing for the children and storage bins to stay organized in their very small living space.
Earl, 83 years old, has had a devastating year. Shortly after his wife passed away, Earl was the victim of financial exploitation by a person he considered to be a friend. Catholic Charities advocated on Earl’s behalf and worked with other area organizations to ensure that his needs were met. Sadly, his savings are now depleted. Earl can only afford necessities and often struggles to find money to fill his car with gas. He misses being an active member of the community, but also keeps a strong faith and belief that his situation will improve. A $150 donation would purchase a gas card and groceries for Earl.
Bill and his 9 year old daughter live in Catholic Charities’ Permanent Supportive Housing Program. He has medical and mental health challenges and, although he says that he’d like to hide away from the world, Bill puts his own anxieties aside to be the father his daughter needs him to be. He walks her to and from school, attends after school activities and volunteers at holiday parties. This family’s only form of transportation are their bicycles, which becomes challenging during the dark and cold winter months. Bill is a fighter and a survivor who always puts his daughter first. He works very hard to maintain stability. A gift of $200 would provide warm winter clothing, new bikes, books, and personal care items for Bill’s daughter.
Melanie, 78 years old, is described as a very loving and God seeking individual. She’s always smiling, has a deep love for her family, and makes everyone around her feel special. Several months ago, Melanie contacted Catholic Charities because she could not afford the insulin for her diabetes. Although she has a very supportive family, they do not have the financial means to assist. Melanie is on a fixed income with a tight budget and had gone many months without insulin before reaching out for help. Today, with help from Catholic Charities, her medical needs are met. A gift of $150 will provide a special Christmas Melanie, who has had a difficult year.
Amber and her husband have a three year old daughter who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Amber is a stay-at-home mom while her husband works full time, but her physical and mental health challenges sometimes make it necessary for him to take time away from work to care for their daughter. Catholic Charities’ Immigrant Support Program has provided rental assistance to this family as they work to stabilize their financial situation. The family recently had to move to a new apartment after the building they lived in had a bedbug infestation. A gift of $200 will help Amber’s family purchase important household items that they don’t currently have, including a microwave, beds, chairs, a television, and toys for their toddler.
Alan, 55 year old, lived in a campsite for the past several years as he struggled with alcoholism, depression, and anxiety. In 2018, Alan moved into Catholic Charities’ Permanent Supportive Housing Program. The transition off the streets provided Alan the opportunity to move away from the people, places, and things that triggered his substance abuse. At this point, he was able to meaningfully address his substance use and mental health. Alan began seeing a counselor from Catholic Charities. As he made progress, Alan returned to the workforce. He continues to work on his sobriety daily and is doing very well. A gift of $150 will help Alan buy cleaning supplies, paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, etc.), DVDs, and a heavy winter coat.
Susan and Aruna, both 61 years old, met when they were roommates at Catholic Charities’ Kathy Paulsen Hope House homeless shelter. The two instantly bonded and, within weeks, decided to move into an apartment together when they could save enough money. Once the pair secured employment to afford rent, they found an apartment and Catholic Charities’ helped with a deposit. Susan and Aruna split the rent, which leaves them with more than enough income to cover their other expenses. Once strangers who each needed a support system, these friends are now flourishing and self-sufficient. A gift of $200 will help Susan and Aruna afford a bit of furniture and household items for their new apartment. After experiencing a period of homelessness, they have very few belongings.
Ann, 93 years old, has many serious health needs (dementia, heart disease, and thyroid issues) and lives with her niece, who is her primary caregiver. Years ago, Ann was the victim of a terrible crime, which left her badly burned. She still suffers from severe pain and nerve damage from this incident. She also became depressed after the crime and never fully recovered emotionally. A gift of $200 will provide clothing and household items for Ann and her niece, who don’t have any extra money after their bills are paid.
Matteo and his 18 year old son arrived at Catholic Charities’ Kathy Paulsen Hope House homeless shelter in March. Matteo does not speak English and his son speaks very little and also has a cognitive disability and hearing impairment. This family had many barriers to obtaining employment and housing and were needed many services that Catholic Charities provides. While staying at the shelter, the family gained health coverage and SNAP benefits. Matteo started a job and his son began attending school. With help, the family has moved into an apartment and are now supporting themselves. A gift of $200 will help provide clothing, household items, and personal care items for this family.
Liz and Scott owned their own home for 15 years while Scott worked full time and Liz stayed home to care for their daughter, who has developmental disabilities and a seizure disorder. Everything changed for this family when Scott had a stroke and became paralyzed on the left side of his body. He could no longer work and Liz had difficulty earning enough money to support the family. Eventually, they became homeless. Today, Liz is focused on securing a good job and housing for the family. A gift of $200 will purchase gas cards to help this family with transportation to doctor appointments.
Ed, 55 year old, lived in a campsite for years. Coming from a troubled home, Ed found comfort in the support system within the homeless community at the campsite. Unfortunately, over the years, Ed started losing friends due to illness, suicide, and substance abuse. He felt that he needed to find a different lifestyle in order to survive. In March, Ed moved into Catholic Charities’ Permanent Supportive Housing Program where he has a small apartment, hot shower, refrigerator, and a bed – small comforts that are invaluable to someone who has spent years living on the streets. The transition hasn’t been easy, but Ed is addressing his depression, anxiety, and personal history. He’s doing very well maintaining his apartment and caring for himself. Ed has expressed that he feels blessed for this new start. A gift of $150 will provide Ed with a warm winter coat, fishing pole and tackle box. He would also love to get cleaning supplies.
Alex and her 13 year-old daughter experienced the trauma of witnessing the death of a one year old family member last year. The mother and daughter developed PTSD after the tragedy. The family has been financially stretched after paying for the baby’s funeral and medical bills. Realizing that they needed help to process their situation, this family began seeing a Catholic Charities counselor. They each work independently to meet their treatment goals. A gift of $200 would provide Alex and her daughters with very basic items, particularly food.
Eli, Renee and their seven children are a dynamic, fun-loving, and active bunch. The couple work different shifts to ensure that someone is always home with the children, who are all younger than 15 years old. The family recently fell upon hard times and lost their home, which was very traumatic for all of them. Although Eli and Renee have now moved into an apartment, it only has two bedrooms to accommodate this large family. They spent months without gas and hot water. Your gift of $350 will provide clothing, coats, shoes, and toys for Christmas for Eli and Renee’s family.
John, 65 years old, spent decades as a loyal employee at a donut shop. When the shop abruptly closed, John couldn’t find work and became homeless. He stayed at Daybreak Center and eventually moved into New Beginnings Permanent Supportive Housing where he has lived for nine years. Today, John is battling stage four colon cancer. He has survived longer than his doctors expected. He maintains a positive attitude and takes his health and treatment very seriously. A gift of $150 will help John obtain something he has always dreamed of – a business suit.
Vince, three years old, lives with his mother and participates in Catholic Charities’ Head Start Program. Due to her immigration status, Vince’s mother has a difficult time finding an employment situation to cover her living expenses. She finds work wherever she can and currently makes money by collecting garbage. She feels ashamed and feels like others look down on her because of her work. In addition, her job is not always safe and the work is inconsistent. Vince’s mom is very careful with her money to ensure that she can pay rent and other bills. She’s excited that Vince has the opportunity to attend Head Start and feels confident that this will give him the educational foundation he needs to succeed. A gift of $200 will help provide this small family with warm winter clothing and a few Christmas presents for Vince.
Jeff, Cindy, and their 11 year old son struggled with homelessness for several years. Jeff’s health is poor due to self-neglect. The family spent a period of time living outdoors in a tent. Stress took a toll and the couple decided to divorce. However, Jeff became motivated for change. He began seeing a doctor, started physical therapy, applied for benefits, and even transitioned from using a wheelchair to a walker. Three months later, the family reunited and is now working together supportively. Cindy has a job and they have secured a new apartment. This family was homeless for a long period of time, so your donation of $200 will help them purchase household items, clothing, furniture, and toys/games for their son.
Vera is a single mother who is expecting her third child in January. The family is currently homeless although Vera has a job. She is working hard to save enough money to rent an apartment before the new baby arrives. This very determined mother prays each day and is focused on building a better life for her family. A gift of $200 will prepare Vera’s family for winter with warm coats and will provide diapers and clothing for the new baby.
Daniel, 43 years old, experienced homelessness for the first time in his life when his marriage ended. Last summer, Daniel experienced depression and loneliness due to his circumstances. He wasn’t able to see his seven year old son very often and missed him terribly. Daniel recently obtained a job and rides his bike to and from work each and every day, no matter what the weather is like. He is saving his earnings while he stays at Daybreak Center. Daniel plans to move into an apartment with his savings soon and looks forward to self-sufficiency and spending more time with his son. A $150 donation will help Daniel purchase household items for his new apartment.
Tatiana lives in a low-income housing apartment complex with her two young children. Their living space is very crowded and a new baby will join them in January. Tatiana has experienced complications in her pregnancy. Both of her young children have asthma and are frequently ill. Without a car, Tatiana must walk everywhere she needs to go, including taking her daughter to preschool. This family is extremely close – Tatiana loves reading books to her children and makes sure that they always eat healthy meals. She plans on returning to work once her baby is born. A gift of $200 will help Tatiana purchase pots and pans, clothing for the family, toys, and newborn items.
Anthony, 28 years old, is working to regain custody of his daughters, who are in foster care. He is focused on making important life changes in order to build a better life for his children. Anthony is staying at Daybreak Center. He recently started a job and is busy taking parenting classes and attending supervised visits with his daughters. Anthony is facing many challenges, but his love for his children and motivation to change their situation is a powerful force. A $150 donation will help Anthony purchase household items to prepare for the apartment he will soon move into.
Cassandra and her husband joyfully welcomed healthy twin girls into their family in August. They live in a multi-generational household and were recently informed that their rent is increasing – so the family must move. In addition, they have lost two family members to gun violence and are working through grief. Cassandra is focused on finding a new home and raising healthy and independent girls. A gift of $300 will purchase basic necessities for the twins (including high chairs), a vacuum, tools for dad to keep up with maintenance around the house, and other basic household items.
Marcia, 64 years old, was evicted from her apartment earlier this year for overcrowding when her daughter and three grandchildren moved in to escape domestic violence. Now, they stay in a motel to avoid living on the street. Although Marcia’s daughter works, she has a very limited skillset and earns a low hourly wage. The family’s income is so small that they have been unable to find a landlord to rent to them. They continue to share one room at a hotel with the goal of renting an apartment soon. A gift of $250 will help Marcia and her daughter provide Christmas gifts for the children. Their income is spent entirely on the motel and food, so this will help them give the children toys and clothing.
Brian, 42 years old, was leading a typical life as a single dad with a full-time job when he suddenly experienced balance problems seven years ago. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and suffered from a sudden and serious onset of symptoms. Unable to continue working, Brian received minimal disability income, which wasn’t enough to maintain his household. When they lost their home, Brian and his teenage son stayed wherever they could, often with friends. Catholic Charities provided a security deposit for Brian to move into a subsidized apartment on October 1st. His son, now a sophomore in college, looks forward to coming HOME for the holidays… in the first home they’ve had since Brian’s diagnosis years ago. After many years of homelessness, the only piece of furniture that Brian moved into his apartment with was a bed. Your gift of $200 will help this family buy more furniture and household items.
Ana is a friendly one year old who participates in Catholic Charities’ Home Based Head Start Program. She is the youngest of six children, all of whom have attended Head Start. Ana’s father recently lost his job and they are having trouble affording basic items, including diapers. The family’s car needs expensive repairs that they cannot afford, which creates challenges for finding work and attending school. A gift of $350 will provide diapers, winter clothing, and school supplies for the children in this family.
Marge, 67 years old, is a widow who was living in a housing complex where she felt unsafe and feared for her life. She desperately needed to leave her dangerous living situation, but didn’t have any affordable options and became homeless. Despite her difficult circumstances, Marge is cheerful and optimistic. A gift of $150 will provide clothing, shoes, and coats for Marge, who left everything behind when she fled from her home.
June and Tom are raising their two young grandchildren. June has limited vision and is unable to drive. Earlier this year, the family lost their home and stayed at Catholic Charities’ Daybreak Center. More recently, they were able to move into subsidized housing. June and Tom are very proud of their grandchildren and are trying their best despite their challenges this year. This loving grandmother says that she smiles through the pain because she doesn’t want her grandchildren to know what they are struggling with. A gift of $200 will provide a stroller for the 18 month old granddaughter to help them get around easier. June would also like the toddler to have a small bed because she’s been climbing out of her crib.
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Once enough donations have been received to satisfy the needs of all clients listed, additional donations will go to our Annual Christmas Appeal where every client Catholic Charities serves will be taken care of year round. May God Bless you and your family.