Gift of Christmas 2016
Gift of Christmas 2016
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 question, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adriana is a single mom of two children who is also expecting quadruplets in February. She is unemployed, but was attending college full-time until her high-risk pregnancy made that impossible. Adriana is under a great deal of stress, but is finding Catholic Charities’ Expectant Mothers Initiative very helpful. Her three year-old daughter is a student in Catholic Charities’ Head Start program and Adriana is very involved in her education. Your gift of $350 will help Adriana purchase gear for her four new babies. She currently needs four car seats, four cribs, a special stroller to accommodate four babies, clothing, and diapers.
Stanley, 50 years-old, lives in a camper behind his friend’s home. He has severe mental health concerns and no income. Earlier this year, Stanley attempted to take his own life. This kind and polite man is currently grieving the deaths of his girlfriend and his father. Your gift of $150 would help Stanley purchase food, warm clothing, and hygiene products.
Caroline, 67 years-old, has been raising her two teenage grandsons since their mother was killed in a car accident when the children were toddlers. This loving woman struggles to keep up withthe growing boys’ financial needs while living on a single income and dealing with health concerns. The three live in a crowded apartment together and dream of having more space. Your gift of $200 would help Caroline provide Christmas gifts for the boys and also to pay for some of their sports fees.
Martin and Joy are a married couple with five children currently in Catholic Charities’ Transitional Housing Program for homeless families. This couple is hardworking, responsible and are loving parents who have continued to make great progress despite serious challenges in their life. Before coming to Catholic Charities, they were unemployed and homeless. Today, they both have jobs and are diligently budgeting their money. A gift of $350 will provide work clothes for the couple and clothing for their children.
Denise is a single mom raising two toddlers. Although she has trouble making ends meet financially, she recently started a full-time job and enrolled her children in Catholic Charities’ Head Start Program. She’s excited about the opportunities that her new job will bring and is working toward goals of going back to school and affording a bigger home for her family. Your gift of $200 will provide coats for Denise’s children and household items including towels, sheets, and plates.
Paul and Dorothy are a married couple in their eighties who are responsible for an adult daughter whose mental health issues sometimes cause her to become violent. The couple lock their bedroom door each night in order to feel safe enough to sleep. Paul has also been diagnosed with dementia, which is stressful for the couple. Your gift of $150 will help this family begin to replace household items they lost during severe weather last summer. They would also love to use a bit of money to go out to a restaurant – something they haven’t been able to afford in a very long time.
Marie has a chronic disease which has left her disabled. However, this single woman has always prided herself on being completely self-sufficient despite physical limitations. Unfortunately, she recently lost her job after many years of employment and is having a difficult time meeting her needs financially and physically as she looks for a new job. Marie meets with a therapist from Catholic Charities weekly to talk through her challenges. Your gift of $150 would help Marie purchase healthy food and new eye glasses which are needed because her vision has recently worsened due to her disease.
Joe is a 48-year old veteran who lives in a Catholic Charities’ permanent support housing program. He was chronically homeless before coming to Catholic Charities. He battled addiction and was diagnosed with several mental health concerns. Through very hard work, Joe has overcome many obstacles and is doing well. Maintaining his health and sobriety are his top priorities. Joe is clean and sober and has a positive outlook for his future. A gift of $150 will purchase food and personal care items for Joe this Christmas.
Linda was 12 years-old when she came to the United States to be raised by her older brother. Linda’s mom believed that her daughter would have a better life in the U.S. When Linda was three years-old she was severely burned in an accident that left her face disfigured and resulted in an extreme amount of emotional stress. Today, Linda is a single mom raising five children. She works six days a week and 10-12 hour days in order to provide the basic necessities for her children. Your gift of $350 will provide winter clothing and books for Linda’s children this Christmas.
Mona’s family has had a rough year. Her husband is a veteran who is dependent on drugs and alcohol. He has been diagnosed with depression and P.T.S.D. As a result, he has been unable to maintain consistent and reliable employment. Mona is very concerned about the impact this is having on her children, so they attend counseling together as a family. Mona has a job, but isn’t earning enough to support her family, so they recently moved in with relatives. Your gift of $300 will help the children in this family participate in sports and buy clothes and diapers.
LaTonya is a single mom raising two toddlers. After periods of unemployment and homelessness, she recently found a full-time job and is also attending school. The family is currently living in a public housing complex, but LaTonya is saving money and hopes to move into a safer, more comfortable neighborhood soon. Your gift of $200 will help LaTonya purchase clothing for her children and basic household items.
Marcus is a veteran who spent seven years on active duty. Over the last few years he and his partner Diamond have been blessed with three children. After Marcus and Diamond lost their jobs earlier this year, they were evicted from their apartment and stayed at Daybreak Center homeless shelter. With the help of Catholic Charities’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, the family moved into a home in August. This family is still working to get back on their feet, but they are very grateful to be spending Christmas at home. Your gift of $300 will help this family purchase winter clothing and toys for their young children this Christmas.
Izabella and her husband were financially stable as they raised their three young children until a car accident left Izabella severely injured and in tremendous pain and unable to work for a while. Unfortunately, her husband doesn’t earn enough money to cover all of the family bills. So, Izabella was forced to return to work, despite that fact that she is in constant severe pain. Your gift of $300 will help provide warm clothing for this young family this winter.
Hope had to make the most painful decision of her life when she became homeless earlier this year. She entrusted her mother to temporarily care for her 10 year-old disabled son and 6 year-old daughter while she stayed at Daybreak Center. Every day in the shelter was a struggle as she tried to care for her children from a distance and maintain employment without transportation. Hope’s sacrifices were worthwhile. She is no longer homeless and has been reunited with her children. Hope takes pride her in self-sufficiency and loves her new home. Your gift of $200 will provide household items for Hope’s family in their new home.
Whitney works full-time, attends college, and is a single mother to two young boys at only 21 years-old. As a young parent, Whitney didn’t become discouraged. She earned her high school diploma and works diligently to provide for her children. She plans to graduate college with a degree in the medical field and looks forward to a bright future. Your gift of $200 will help Whitney provide coats for her sons and for herself this winter.
Yolanda resigned from her job after her five year-old daughter was the victim of a violent crime earlier this year. The young girl is having emotional challenges as a result of the incident and Yolanda decided it was best to care for her full-time. Her daughter is currently in counseling and Yolanda is completely dedicated to helping her heal from this terrible experience. Your gift of $250 will help Yolanda provide clothing, food, and diapers for herself and her three children.
Annette, 78 years old, is widowed and has very low income. She resides in an old dilapidated mobile home that once belonged to her mother. She refuses to move into subsidized housing because her beloved animals would not be allowed to move with her. She was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago and is in remission. Although Annette has two children they are not very helpful to her. She is constantly battling cockroaches in her home and she does not have a vehicle. Annette’s Catholic Charities case manager reports that she has seemed really down lately. Your gift of $150 would provide food, personal care products, paper goods, clothing, cleaning products, cat/dog food, and bug spray for Annette.
Jeff is a loyal friend with a strong faith in God. He first became homeless nine years ago when he got into a disagreement with family which resulted in him no longer being able to stay with them. He was homeless off and on, sometimes staying with family when they would allow him to. Sometimes Jeff would stay at shelters when he was homeless, but more often he would stay on the streets. Due to his chronic homelessness and disabilities, Jeff qualified for a Catholic Charities’ Permanent Supportive Housing Program and now has a safe place to stay. Your gift of $150 will provide Jeff with a new pair of gym shoes and some items for his apartment.
Earlier this year, Kate and her three year old daughter moved in with a friend in order to share living expenses. Unfortunately, the friend was already behind on rent and bills, and the utilities were shut off. Without a house or a job, Kate began staying at Catholic Charities’ Hope House homeless shelter. While staying at the shelter, she found a waitressing job moved into a management position within a month of starting! Kate has big dreams for herself and her daughter, and was thankful to have a safe place for them to stay during this difficult time. Kate rented an apartment for herself and her daughter and with rental assistance from Catholic Charities’ Emergency Services Program; she was able to move out of the shelter and into permanent, stable housing. Your gift of $200 will purchase art kits and musical toys for Kate’s daughter… and some self-care items for Kate, who works hard on her feet full-time.
For the past year, Brendan, Kelly, and their four children have faced difficult challenges. Their three year old son, a student in Catholic Charities’ Head Start program, has serious health concerns. Brendan, the provider for the family, recently began having heart issues and was forced to reduce his hours at work. This family is determined to push through every obstacle with grace and compassion. Your gift of $300 will help this family purchase cleaning supplies, toiletries, and clothing.
Naomi, a single mother of two teenage boys, came to Hope House homeless shelter this October. Naomi has a developmental disability and a number of complicated medical issues. She has struggled to balance work, her children, and her own needs. With little support from family, Naomi turned to Hope House. She easily adjusted to her new environment, assisting other residents with chores, and socializing easily. She quickly earned a job at a fast food restaurant. Naomi’s sons have had a great attitude and have made friends with the younger children at the shelter. Your gift of $250 will purchase warm clothes for this family – they don’t have a vehicle and use public transportation so they need very warm clothes for time spent outdoors during the winter. The boys would also like Cubs shirts and action movies.
John, 74 years old, arrived at Daybreak Center after being evicted from his home. He could no longer afford his rent after his veteran benefits were drastically cut. His case manager describes John as “a highly motivated and highly spiritual man.” He brings joy to the clients and staff at Daybreak Center with his positive attitude and playful spirit. John has struggled with some serious health concerns this year and was hospitalized nine times. Once he established a good bill of health he moved into an apartment (through a housing program) with assistance from Catholic Charities. John is living in a safe environment where he is enjoying an active life with other seniors. Your gift of $150 will provide John with household items for his new apartment.
Tiana’s four year old son is a student in Catholic Charities’ Head Start program. This single mother has three young children and works full-time support herself and her family. Despite her busy work schedule and the hectic day to day tasks of raising her family, she gives her full attention to the importance of a great education for her children. Those who know her describe Tiana as kind-hearted and grateful for the help she receives. Your gift of $250 would assist Tiana in giving her children the Christmas that they are wishing for.
Randall is a single father who is raising four young boys. After a long and difficult divorce, Randall lost his home and car. For a while, the family slept on the floor of a bedroom at a relative’s home. Randall found a full-time job, but was still unable to afford housing. With the help of Catholic Charities’ Emergency Services and Homeless Prevention program he was able to secure an apartment for the family to call home. Randall has maintained a positive attitude and an optimistic spirit. He recently began working toward completing his GED. Your gift of $300 will provide educational toys, video games, books, and a bicycle for Randall’s sons.
Patricia, 61 years old, arrived at Daybreak Center in August, after her full-time job at a school ended for the summer months, and her hours were cut drastically at her part-time job. She was unable to afford housing and became homeless. Patricia was devastated by her situation, but very motivated. She knew that she could not fall apart, so through her faith, prayers, and supportive church friends, she found one temporary full-time position and two part-time positions to get her through until her school job started back in the fall. During her stay in the shelter she was able to secure an affordable studio apartment. Although Daybreak was a substantial help for Patricia, her case manager also credits a positive attitude about her situation, which resulted in success. A gift of $150 will help Patricia purchase much-needed new clothes and tires for her car.
Prior to participating in Catholic Charities’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program, 60 year old Andre, his wife, and their 18 year old son were left homeless after the home they were renting was foreclosed on. The family put their belongings in storage and move into a motel. Andre lost his job around the same time and the couple began to feel hopeless. Since connecting with Catholic Charities, they have moved into an apartment and Andre has obtained a full-time job. Although money is tight, they are financially self-sufficient and try to save money to help their son pay for community college. Your gift of $200 will help the family purchase much-needed new shoes and a winter coat for Andre.
Charlene is a single mother of four girls, two of whom are students at Catholic Charities’ Head Start. She works full-time to provide for herself and for her family. In addition to her busy schedule, she volunteers at Head Start and attends regular meetings as a member of the Head Start parent committee. Charlene has a positive attitude, is focused on setting and achieving her goals, and is optimistic about the future for her family. Your gift of $300 would allow Charlene to provide gifts for her daughters this holiday season.
Dev became homeless after losing his job four years ago. He went through a difficult divorce and has been staying in homeless shelters ever since. Although Dev has a master’s degree in business, he struggles to find jobs. Over the years, he has lost touch with friends and family during his period of homelessness. Your gift of $150 would help Dev help purchase warm clothes and a small laptop for communicating with family and searching for jobs.
Tiffany was alone and living on the streets when she found out she was pregnant. Knowing that living on the street wasn’t safe, she began staying at Daybreak Center homeless shelter. In September, Tiffany gave birth to a baby girl and they are both staying at the shelter. She’s desperately looking for a full-time job. The single mother devotes every ounce of energy to supporting her family. Tiffany is on a waiting list for affordable housing. In the meantime, they must stay in the shelter. Tiffany says that her heart aches for her baby and the tough situation that they are facing. A gift of $200 would purchase a breast pump, infant clothes, and blankets for Tiffany and her baby.
There’s never a dull moment in Brian and Michelle’s house! The couple has three year old quadruplets, a one year old, and a four year old! Mom and dad share the responsibility of taking the children to various appointments to address their medical concerns. Five of their six children receive special services with the public school system. One of the quads has seizures and the doctors are exploring a possible diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. Two of the children wear leg braces and supportive shoes. In spite of their many challenges, the children have adjusted well to being in school at Catholic Charities’ Head Start program and all of them are very happy children. Your gift of $300 will help family purchase clothing, winter gear, and educational toys (they love puzzles) for this wonderful family.
For many years, Frankie and her three children lived a comfortable suburban life. Sadly, this single mom lost her home after she was laid off from her job. The family spent months sleeping on the couches and floors of any one that would take them in for the night or a few days at a time. In August, Frankie and her family entered Daybreak Center homeless shelter. The children are doing well in school and utilizing Daybreak’s homework help center. In October, Frankie found a full-time job! Despite unfortunate circumstances, Frankie believes that tough times won’t last long if you have the drive to succeed. Your gift of $250 will help Frankie purchase winter coats, gas cards, and toiletries.
Connie, 61 years old, connected with Catholic Charities last year while she was struggling with various health issues and other personal concerns. She had limited and strained family relationships. Her refrigerator was empty. With help from Catholic Charities, Connie now has visits from a home care aide, an emergency button, home delivered meals, and a senior companion. She is overwhelmed with gratitude for the help she has received. She reports that her quality of life has improved in very meaningful ways. Your gift of $150 would help Connie keep her refrigerator full this holiday season and help her purchase warm clothes and a blanket for the winter.
Theodore is a 58-year old veteran who is a client in Catholic Charities’ Turning Point Permanent Supportive Housing Program. He entered the program after a lengthy period of chronic homelessness. After supporting himself for many years, Theodore developed a drug addiction and health issues that led to homelessness. When he became involved with the SSVF Program at Catholic Charities, he received supportive services and was referred for permanent supportive housing. Theodore has been in the Turning Point Program for a year and has shown tremendous progress. Stable housing has impacted his self-esteem, his finances, and allowed him to develop a healthy lifestyle. He’s learning to budget and is currently working on paying off old bills. He takes responsibility for following through with all of his medical appointments and shows pride when he is able to buy something for his apartment. Theodore plans to one day become an advocate for other homeless veterans in his community. Your gift of $150 will help Theodore purchase clothing, food, and personal care items.
Ron, 70 years old, and Arlene, 66 years old, requested assistance from Catholic Charities when their propane tank was nearly empty and they couldn’t afford to have it refilled. The couple was friendly, funny, and very grateful for the assistance they received. Their case manager describes them as a delightful couple. Your gift of $200 will help Ron and Arlene afford more propane, which they will need again very soon.
Orlando, Camila and their two toddlers live in a small damp basement. The family is expecting a new baby in a few months and participates in Catholic Charities’ Expectant Mothers Initiative. After the baby is born, Camila plans on working to help support the family with a goal of moving into a better home. Their toddlers are enrolled in Catholic Charities’ Head Start program and the parents are invested in a great education for the children. Your gift of $250 will purchase pots/pans so Camila can prepare meals and baby items (including a crib) for the new baby.
Jose, 61 years old, joined the military when he was 20 years old to escape the violence and poverty in his neighborhood. After serving for seven years, Jose moved back home and has struggled since that time. He has many challenges, including alcoholism and medical issues. Five years ago, he hit rock bottom and began living out of his car. Jose was diagnosed with diabetes, depression, and PTSD. Today, Jose is in Catholic Charities Turning Point Permanent Supportive Housing Program and has his own apartment. Although it was difficult for Jose to adjust to living in the community again, he has made tremendous progress and is taking great care of himself. Your gift of $150 will gas, food, and clothing for Jose.
Desiree is a single parent with five children, including two year-old twins. She is employed and is also in school working toward her master’s degree. Desiree is active in her children’s education and makes a point to attend their events despite her demanding work and school schedule. Your gift of $350 would provide cleaning products, winter clothing, educational toys, shoes, and school supplies for this family.
Leo and Abbie are a married couple with no children. Leo has a serious chronic health condition and Abbie recently lost her job. Although Abbie has found another job, they were evicted from their home during their time without an income and are now living in their car. They are currently looking for a new apartment and Catholic Charities will assist with their rent when they find a new home. Their case manager describes Leo and Abbie as a loving couple who is very grateful for the assistance they have received. Your gift of $200 will help them purchase housewares for their new apartment (they were unable to keep most of their belongings when they were evicted).
Greg, 56 years old, has spent the majority of his life on his family’s farm. After a family altercation a few years ago, Greg was no longer welcome on the farm. Shortly thereafter, he began to abuse alcohol and heroin. He has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, and has a tumor. For the past five years, Greg has been homeless and often hospitalized for his mental health concerns, including suicidal ideation. Last year, while living on the street, he was attacked by another homeless individual and had a life-threatening head injury. Greg’s case manager describes him as “motivated and ambitious.” He continues to try hard to improve himself and his situation. Your gift of $150 will help Greg with some much needed repairs on his truck.
Robin and her three children entered into Catholic Charities SHIFT (Supportive Housing Initiative for Families in Transition) Permanent Supportive Housing Program after living in a homeless shelter. Robin and her nine year old son both have disabilities and it has always been difficult for the family to maintain a stable place to live. Upon entering into the program, the family got settled into their three bedroom apartment and began utilizing the support of the program to achieve their goals. Robin and her children utilized the case management, counseling and employment services and today the mother is working full time and has goals of obtaining her GED. Robin’s 18 year-old daughter is a freshman in college and a straight A student! This family is truly flourishing in the SHIFT program. Your gift of $250 will purchase warm clothes; dorm room bedding and decorations; and art supplies for this wonderful faily.
Janet, 58 years old, has been caring for her 8 year old grandson since he was 10 months old. She formally adopted him in 2011. They live in one of the poorest communities in Illinois and survive on a very low income. Janet attends Catholic Charities’ mobile food pantries and receives support from the grandparents raising grandchildren program. Janet has been unable to provide toys and other Christmas presents for her grandson because of their extremely limited income. A gift of $200 would purchase basic supplies, such as food, clothing, soap, and shampoo.
Kenya works both a full-time and a part-time job in order to support her four children. Her expenses have increased recently when her rent was raised and her teenage children have started participating in school activities, which have fees. After paying bills, Kenya doesn’t have any money left to provide Christmas gifts for her children. Your gift of $300 will purchase clothing, educational items, and household supplies for this family.
Karen, 65 years old, has been raising her granddaughter Olivia since she was a baby. This has created a financial strain on the household although they work hard to stay within their tight budget. Olivia is an honor roll student and excels on her high school volleyball team. Your gift of $200 would help Karen provide a nice Christmas for Olivia this year.
Nia, a single mother with three young children, recently had to move unexpectedly. The family is staying with relatives while they look for housing that is affordable on their low-income. Nia works full-time and is trying to save enough money for a security deposit. Unfortunately, she doesn’t earn enough money to provide basic needs for her family and save money at the same time, so the family is making a lot of sacrifices. A gift of $250 would provide Christmas gifts for Nia’s children.
Nancy, 73 years old, has had custody of her 17 year old granddaughter since the girl was a baby. Nancy has had many health challenges, including cancer. Subsequent surgery on her mouth has left her unable to speak or eat food (she uses a feeding tube for nutrition). Nancy is on a very limited income and is an active participant in Catholic Charities’ Money Management Program. She does the best she can raising a teenage girl who has many needs. Her granddaughter is very gracious and understands that her grandmother cannot afford things like sending her to prom. Your gift of $200 would help this family purchase clothing, school supplies, and food.
Shonda has been off work for the past six weeks after giving birth to her new baby boy. She will return to work soon but has used most of her savings on her unpaid maternity leave. Shonda is thankful for Catholic Charities’ Head Start program so that she can work and afford childcare. A gift of $300 would help Shonda purchase infant supplies for her baby and winter clothing for her other three children.
Lissette and her family were victims of a terrible fire last December. The couple and their eight children lost everything. Lissette recently started a full-time job and is hopeful that this will help her family get their lives back to normal. The family depleted all of their savings last year to afford an apartment after the fire and were unable to buy gifts for Christmas for the children. Catholic Charities has helped them replace many of the household items and toys that were lost in the fire. Your gift of $350 will purchase warm clothes for this large family this Christmas.
Rebecca is a single parent with two toddlers in Catholic Charities’ Head Start program. She is employed full-time and grateful for the affordable childcare that Head Start provides for her family. Through the years, Rebecca has struggled with maintaining stable employment, housing, and transportation. She’s been working hard to improve all areas of her life and to provide a bright future for her children. A gift of $200 would help provide clothing and household items for this family.
Josh is a veteran who served years on active duty. He and his wife have four children and are expecting their fifth in February. Last year, Josh was involved in an auto accident which left him unable to work for six months. When they first came to Catholic Charities, they were five months behind in rent. The Supportive Services for Veteran Families team was able to pay the overdue rent. The family recently had another setback when both of their cars broke down beyond repair. They are a hard working family that is recovering from difficult times and are on the verge of better days. With the upcoming blessing of their fifth child they are excited, but also recognize the increased demands on the family resources. Your gift of $350 will provide diapers, toilet paper, shoes, pajamas, and a skillet for this family.
Marisol and her two toddler daughters were recently homeless, but just moved into an apartment. Sadly, the family spent quite a bit of time living in their car this year. Even though Marisol works, she didn’t have enough money to afford hotel rooms or an apartment. Now that she has an apartment, she is slowly trying to rebuild her life. Marisol’s daughters are students in Catholic Charities’ Head Start program and she says that she has been blessed to have had the support of Catholic Charities in her life to help her through her darkest times. A gift of $200 would help this family purchase household items for their new apartment, including bedding for the girls.
Leslie’s husband Brad was admitted to a hospital recently for mental health treatment. The couple’s 12 year-old son has autism and is currently hospitalized after attempting to take his own life. Leslie’s mother was just arrested for a very serious crime, which has been a big story in their small town. All of this has been extremely stressful for Leslie, but she’s hanging in there… caring for her family and working hard at her job. Your gift of $200 will help Leslie afford gas for her car – she’s been having trouble affording gas and needs it for commuting to work and medical appointments for her family.
Brayden is in second grade and a new student to his school this year where he sees a Catholic Charities counselor. He is a sweet and loving child with limited support from his father. The family recently moved into their own place to be independent from his mom’s extended family. Brayden’s mom works very hard to provide for the small family. She is also attending night school with goals of a higher paying career. A gift of $200 would purchase groceries, board games, books, and clothes for Brayden and his mom.
Jennifer is a single parent living with her four year old daughter at a homeless shelter. The mother suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter and continues to struggle with depression today. She became unemployed from a long-time job after her depression forced her to miss too many days of work. She eventually lost her house and her car. Jennifer tries to stay positive and says that prayer helps her get through the day. Jennifer expresses gratitude for what she has and does not reflect on the material things that she has lost. As she searches for employment and looks, Jennifer knows that her current situation is temporary and her family will get to a better place. Your gift of $300 will help Jennifer buy her daughter winter clothing and boots.
Aaron (a fifth grader) and Matt (a seventh grader) are brothers who attend counseling at Catholic Charities on a regular basis. They are brought to their sessions faithfully by their grandparents who are in the process of being awarded guardianship of these two boys. Several years ago, they lost their mother to a heroin overdose. A short time later, their father was sent to prison for dealing drugs and child endangerment. At that time, their grandparents took full responsibility for both boys. Despite the trauma they have experienced, Aaron and Matt are looking forward to productive futures and are exceling in school. Their grandparents have given them the gift of a stable home and the promise that they will not abandon them. The boys finally feel safe and embrace the love they were not able to receive from their parents. Even though they do not have a lot of money, they are extremely grateful for what they have. Your gift of $200 will help provide new eyeglasses for Aaron, Legos, and school supplies.
Sonya is a single parent working full time to support her three children. Her youngest child was born prematurely and Sonya struggled to work while caring for the new baby and a toddler. Financially, things became even more difficult when Sonya’s teenage daughter gave birth to a baby recently and that child also joined the household. Your gift of $250 would help this family purchase clothing, toys, books, and household items.
Max is a student who receives school counseling from a therapist with Catholic Charities. He has some struggles in school and at home. Max’s mom is a single parent who takes care of not only her kids but her parents, who are in poor health. His mother tries her best to keep her kids involved in their activities to keep life as normal as possible, but they often miss out on things their peers are doing because of the financial strain at home. Your gift of $200 will purchase much-needed new shoes for Max and his sister and groceries for the family.
During the past few months, Marco and Elena’s family has been under a tremendous amount of stress. Their five year old son has been having frequent seizures and has been going through a battery of medical tests with hospital stays. He was diagnosed with epilepsy and placed on medication that he will have to take for the rest of his life. Also, the doctors found a tumor and they’re in the process of learning more about this situation. This family lives on a low-income and the children attend Catholic Charities’ Head Start program. Your gift of $300 will help this family of six purchase clothing and games for this children this Christmas.
Kiki is a single parent raising five children alone and pregnant with her sixth baby. After years of abuse, Kiki is experiencing depression, anxiety, and is in treatment for her condition. Her family is very close and the children look out for one another. Kiki does her best to manage the household and teaches her children to clean up after themselves, do their homework, and to sew. Your gift of $300 will buy Christmas presents for the children and basic baby supplies for the new baby.
Rochelle and her three daughters have been in the Catholic Charities First Light housing program for three years. Both Rochelle and her oldest daughter suffer from chronic medical conditions. These medical issues and not having a high school diploma have made it impossible for Rochelle to emerge from poverty. She is currently studying to pass her GED, which has been a goal of Rochelle’s. After completing her GED, Rochelle plans to take community college classes so she can have a career and serve as a positive role model for her daughters. Your gift of $250 will provide clothing for school, a chalkboard/easel, toys, and inexpensive jewelry for the 12 year old.
Toya a pregnant mother who has been homeless for several years. She has had clinical chronic depression since she has a teenager. Toya stopped taking her medication when she found out she was pregnant and has been struggling with her mental health. Despite her serious daily challenges, Toya has a job and is working toward a better life. Your gift of $200 will help Toya afford warm winter clothes and items for her new baby.
Lori and her husband have one child in Catholic Charities’ Head Start program and other in kindergarten. They have had a tough year between job loss and losing their apartment. Additionally, Lori recently found out that she’s unexpectedly pregnant. They have settled into a new apartment, but are having a hard time financially. The family shares one car and one cell phone. Although both parents have faced depression this year with their challenges, now that they are settled into their new home and Lori’s husband has a job, they are starting to feel better and excited for the arrival of their new baby. Your gift of $250 will help this family buy supplies to prepare for the baby.
Elizabeth had to resign from her job last year when she became ill. Since then, her unemployment benefits have run out, she had surgery for her illness over the summer, and her home is in foreclosure. She remains positive and has a great trust in God to continue meeting her needs. She hopes to be cleared to return to work soon. She faces a lot of uncertainty with the future of her career and home, but her faith is helping her cope. Your gift of $150 will help Elizabeth afford clothing for work (she lost a lot of weight during her illness and no longer fits into her former work clothes).
Ana and her family have been through a lot this year. She and her husband are responsible for supporting their three children and her parents. Ana’s family has been paying her parents’ expensive medical bills and were not able buy school supplies to her children because they are so burdened with the medical expenses. Your gift of $250 will help this family purchase the school supplies they need and Christmas gifts for the children.
Maureen is a single mom with two young children one of whom has special needs. She is a survivor of both domestic violence and sexual assault. She has worked extremely hard to make a good life for her family. Maureen is a waitress and appreciates that she is allowed to take a warm meal home at the end of her shift, which she splits that meal between her two children. Maureen credits her strong work ethic to her wonderful, supportive parents who blessed her with the gift of faith and a Catholic education. Additionally, her faith sustains her during these tough times. Your gift of $200 will gifts for Maureen’s children this Christmas (Little Ponies, princesses, mermaids, Candyland, Playdough, etc.) and a small mattress for her four year-old who doesn’t have a bed.
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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 families.