Meet the Season for Caring partner Agency: CareBox Program

Sheila King and her niece Katelyn Splude share a quiet moment on the family property outside of Dripping Springs. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Sheila King and her niece Katelyn Splude share a quiet moment on the family property outside of Dripping Springs.
RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Each year, Season for Caring partners with local nonprofit agencies and invites them to nominated up to three families. CareBox Program is our newest partnership.

CareBox Program provides free care supplies to cancer patients to help prevent malnutrition, infections and injuries from falls.

Patients get to choose which supplies they need and the boxes are delivered right to their door.

 

This year, CareBox Program nominated the King family. Sheila King lost her son, Austen, to suicide in late July. Her husband, Harrell, died from cancer in late September, and a few days later, her mother, Janie, also died from cancer. Now Sheila, her niece Katelyn, her father Roger, and her son Michael and his wife Lena are trying to rebuild. Read more about this family here.

Their wish list:

Professional cleaning of laundry room; remodeling, insulation and two-bedroom and one-bathroom addition; central air and heat for two homes; hot water heater; furniture (beds, dressers, nightstands, cedar hope chest) and rugs for three bedrooms; beanbag chairs; remodeled bathroom with storage cubbies, laundry hamper and towel sets; two new chairs, a rug and sofa for the living room; help hauling away old appliances and furniture; baby and nursery items (crib, car seat, stroller, highchair, bathtub, clothes, toys, diapers, breast pump, blankets, bibs, toy box, dresser, storage cubbies, bedding, bottles and any other baby supplies); home appliances (refrigerator, deep freezer, microwave, stove/oven, two washers and dryers); table and chairs, countertops and new sink for kitchen with new faucet; two reliable family cars and car insurance; water-delivery service for six months or a year; gift cards to H-E-B, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Babies R Us; gas cards; tuition for school for Michael and for Sheila and Lena to become nurses; three laptops for schoolwork and home; gaming/programming computer for Michael; school supplies for Katelyn; canvases, acrylic paint, brushes, sketchpads, and Prismacolor pencils for Katelyn; electronic sketchpad for Katelyn; art classes and art work desk for Katelyn; dental and vision checkups; four reliable cellphones; acoustic guitar for Katelyn; TV for living room; drivers’ education for Katelyn; surgery for Katelyn to remove metal plate that has been in her arm for six years; johnboat and fishing supplies for Roger; camping supplies so Roger can take his grandkids camping; a record player to play Harrell’s records; rugs, throw blankets, fuzzy socks, electric blankets; three queen, one full and one twin sheet set and comforter; and a riding lawn mower.

For more information on CareBox Program or to give an item on the wish list, contact the agency at 5555 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite L-123. 512-296-2180, careboxprogram.org

To give a monetary donation, go to the donation page at statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

Meet the Season for Caring agency: Breast Cancer Resource Center

Deloris Fields kissed her son, Connor Guenther after picking him up from daycare. Fields was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer on Dec. 4, 2015, the day after her son was born. RESHMA KIRPALANI / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Deloris Fields kissed her son, Connor Guenther after picking him up from daycare. Fields was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer on Dec. 4, 2015, the day after her son was born. RESHMA KIRPALANI / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Each year, Season for Caring partners with local nonprofit agencies and invites them to nominated up to three families. This is the second year Breast Cancer Resource Center has been in the program.

The Breast Cancer Resource Center writes on its website: BCRC is a place to ask your questions, explore your options, and connect with a diverse community of survivors, lifers, and thrivers who can relate in a way no one else can. For more than 20 years, the women of BCRC have been dedicated to supporting and improving the lives of those touched by breast cancer.

Through generous community support, all programs and services are offered free of charge to anyone affected by breast cancer regardless of income, ethnicity, education, sexual orientation, or social support. BCRC strives to embody understanding, preserve dignity, and always see the woman as well as the disease. We believe no one should face breast cancer alone.

 

This year, Breast Cancer Resource Center nominated Deloris Fields and her son Connor. Fields is a 26-year-old single mom who was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 23. Last December, the day after she gave birth to her son Connor, she found out her cancer had returned and is now in her bones. Read more about this family here .

Their wish list:

Help with mounting bills, including rent, utilities and medical bills; a new first-floor apartment; moving expenses; gift cards to Target, Wal-Mart, H-E-B, Ross, Marshalls, Babies R Us and Adidas outlet; internet; a gently used car; car insurance; gas cards; technology to record memories for Connor including a laptop, external hard drive, printer, camera with tripod and iPhone with a case; a small sofa; a small love seat; small coffee table; desk lamp and two tower lamps; soft queen mattress; platform bed with no legs; two soft twin mattresses for bunk beds for when Connor grows up and for when cousins visit; five-drawer dresser; TV; dental work for cavities and crown for unfinished root canal; repayment of more than $7,000 in student loans; continuing education for culinary arts baking and pastry associate of applied science degree; playpen for Connor; size 5 Luvs diapers; educational toys; Radio Flyer red wagon; clothes for Connor, size 18-24 months, children’s shoe size 5 and 6.

To find out more about Breast Cancer Resource Center or to give an item on the Fields’ wish list, find BCRC at 3006 Medical Arts St.. 512-817-9775, bcrc.org

 

To give a monetary donation, go to the donation page at statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

Meet the Season for Caring agency: Any Baby Can

Liliana, mother and husband Juan with their children Jesus, 2, and Juan Diego, 9 in their Austin home. The De La Paz family has two sons with spinal muscular atrophy, which is a genetic disorder that limits their mobility. Jesus, 2, and his brother Juan Diego, 9, have a life expectancy of about 20. Erich Schlegel/For American-Statesman
Liliana De La Paz, mother and husband Juan Martínez Domínguez with their children Jesus, 2, and Juan Diego, 9 in their Austin home.
Erich Schlegel/For American-Statesman

Each year, Season for Caring partners with local nonprofit agencies and invites them to nominated up to three families. Any Baby Can is one of our longest partnerships.

Any Baby Can strengthens parents and their children through in-home therapies, resource navigation and family support services. Its services are provided through home-visitation programs, community classes and support groups.

Some of the groups it serves are children with developmental delays, children with hearing loss, children with chronic illness, children with cancer, mothers with postpartum depression, first-time pregnant moms, parents wanting to learn parenting skills and more.

This year, Any Baby Can nominated the Martínez De La Paz family. Both 9-year-old Juan Diego and 2-year-old Jesús have spinal muscular atrophy type 2. Their life expectancy is 20 and Juan Diego is now using a wheelchair and a ventilator. Read more about this family here .

Their wish list:

Real estate attorney to help establish family’s ownership of current residence; accessible home with ramps, wider doorways and accessible bathrooms; legal assistance to help complete immigration status for parents; gift cards to H-E-B, Wal-Mart and gas stations; two specialty adjustable memory foam twin mattress; twin bedroom set for Jesús and Juan Diego; two memory foam pillows; two electric blankets; dresser/drawers to store medical equipment; black or brown recliner; pub-style dining table for four that wheelchairs can fit under; children’s chairs and table set; blender; boys clothes, sizes 10 and 3 toddler; boys shoes, sizes 13 and 6; women’s clothes, size medium; men’s clothes, size large; two fishing poles and lures; toys like Legos and cars; and a Disney World vacation.

For more information on Any Baby Can or to give an item on the wish list, contact the agency at  512-454-3743, anybabycan.org

To give a monetary donation, go to the donation page at statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

 

Our top 10 list of how to be part of Season for Caring

On Sunday, we launch the 18th Season for Caring program, which highlights the needs of families in our community and then helps hundreds of others through donations to local nonprofit agencies.

There are so many ways for you to get involved. Here’s our list of 10.

  1. Make a monetary donation. Go to http://community.statesman.com/donate.php or find the coupon in the paper each day. You can also just mail a check: Attention: Season for Caring, P.O. Box 50066, Austin, TX 78763-0066.  The money you give will be used all year for families served by our 12 nonprofit agencies for things like rent, utilities, medications, bus passe and groceries. You can designate which family/agency you want your funds to go to or leave it undesignated and it will be divided up evenly to all 12 agencies. Don’t forget, if you have a workplace that matches, to have them match your Season for Caring donation.
  2. Rosabla Martínez-López hold her granddaughter Sofia Guerrero Mondragón as her daughter Kimberley Mondragón-Martínez looks on during their visit at the Hospice Austin's Christopher House. Rosalba Martínez-López, who has stage IV cervical cancer. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
    Rosabla Martínez-López hold her granddaughter Sofia Guerrero Mondragón as her daughter Kimberley Mondragón-Martínez looks on during their visit at the Hospice Austin’s Christopher House. Rosalba Martínez-López, who has stage IV cervical cancer.
    RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

    Read the featured family’s wish lists and give an item on the wish lists. All of the featured families’ lists are on statesman.com/seasonforcaring on the left side. Each family’s original story has the list at the bottom. Once you find the family and the item you want to give, contact that family’s agency. The number is at the bottom of the wish list. The agency will make arrangements with you to receive that item.

  3. Clean out your closets and give a gently used item to a family. We almost hesitate to put this one in there because sometimes readers don’t understand what “gently used” means. It means the couch that has been in your living room that you hardly ever sit on and neither does the dog. It means the set of pots and pans you got for Christmas two years ago that you’ve only used once and realized you already had a great set of pots and pans. It means the computer that still works well but you’ve upgraded to a new one. It does not mean the stained couch with the rips in it or the crusty pots or the broken computer. If you have a gently used item that fits a family’s wish list, call the agency to donate it.
  4. Have your community group adopt a family. Are you a scout leader? A Sunday school or regular school teacher? Do you have a bunco group? Or a workout group? Ask whomever you are hanging with to give gifts to a featured family instead or in addition to gifts to each other.
  5. Host an event to give to Season for Caring. Ask your friends and family to give a gift to a Season for Caring family or make a donation instead of giving a hostess gift. We’ve also had kids hold bake sales to give to families.
  6. Have your family adopt a family. Kids get so wrapped up in what they are getting. Let’s get them wrapped up in what they are giving.
  7. Ask your workplace to give an item on a wish list or adopt a family. We have a lot of needs for services such as home repairs, medical and psychological treatments, children and adult tutoring, legal expertise especially in immigration, and more. We also need things like furniture, clothing, vehicles, housing that businesses can donate. Your workplace also can make Season for Caring part of the holidays by adopting a family, collecting gifts on the wish list and distributing them to the family through the agency.
  8. Give of your time. Many of our families need assistance with things like English tutoring that take a more one-on-one commitment. Agencies also need volunteers to help with picking up and delivering donations. Find your favorite agency from our 12 and ask them how you can help: Any Baby Can, Breast Cancer Resource Center, CareBox Program, Care Communities, Caritas, Family Eldercare, Foundation Communities, Hospice Austin,  IACT, LifeWorks, SAFE Austin and Wonders & Worries.
  9. Attend a Season for Caring event. P. Terry’s is once again donating all of its profits from Dec. 10 to Season for Caring. You now have 14 Austin-area locations to dine, morning, noon and night. Last year, P. Terry’s raised more than $30,000 from this one day. They can’t do it without you.
    For the Second year, the Driskill Hotel is offering an old-fashioned cookie swap on 1-3 p.m. Dec. 11 called Cookies for Caring. Attend the event and get cookies from Austin’s pastry chefs to put in your tin. All of the profits from the $35 tin will go to Season for Caring. Register here.
  10. Share Season for Caring on social media. Let your friends and followers know how you are participating in Season for Caring by posting it. Share you posts #seasonforcaring on Instagram and Twitter and on Facebook. You can also find Season for Caring on Facebook and Twitter and under the main Statesman Instagram account. Share our posts with your friends and follower to encourage others to give.

Make this a Season for Caring.

Season for Caring: Where are they now? Aimee Shaw

Jared Shaw, left, plays the harmonica, as his brother, Justin Cassiday, right, listens at the Shaw home in Hutto.  Their mom has had breast cancer for 12 years. RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Jared Shaw, left, plays the harmonica, as his brother, Justin Cassiday, right, listens at the Shaw home in Hutto. Their mom has had breast cancer for 13 years. RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Aimee Shaw and her family know that had it not been for Season for Caring, they would have lost their house and been homeless.

Shaw, 44, has stage 4 breast cancer. Her oldest son, Justin Cassiday, 27, who has post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the Army, has finished his time in the Reserves and is trying to get disability. Cassiday and his wife, Brittany, had a son, Theodore, in June. Shaw’s son Jared, 21, who has autism, has had several seizures this fall.

Season for Caring, Shaw says, kept them afloat, especially after husband Al Shaw, 42, was laid off in March. Though he has a Master of Business Administration, he has not found a permanent job. He is supporting the family by mowing lawns and working a temporary on-call job.

Season for Caring “kept us in our house,” she says. “And we’re thankful for that.”

Season for Caring is the Statesman’s holiday charity program, but the donations help families throughout the year. Each year, local nonprofit agencies nominate families to the program. The 12 selected families get their needs met first, but then the agencies use extra money to help other families with basic needs such as rent, utilities, groceries, medical bills and transportation.

Since the program began in 1999, Season for Caring has raised more than $9.7 million. Last year, the greater Austin community donated $580,187 in monetary donations and $157,277 worth of in-kind goods and services.

Watch a video of Aimee Shaw before the campaign began, here.

On Sunday, we’ll introduce you to 12 new families. All this week we’re catching up with last year’s families. Find more at Statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

Season for Caring: Where are they now? Juana Ramirez

Juana Ramirez and her children Stephanie and Marcus will get the help they need through your donations. Laura Skelding/American-Statesman
Juana Ramirez and her children Stephanie and Marcus got many things they needed through Season for Caring last year. Laura Skelding/American-Statesman

Juana Ramirez, 30, who had been struggling with homelessness, has been working at a call center. She and her two children recently moved in with her mother after their rent went up. “She just looked happy,” says Rebecca Staffon, care coordinator for Communities In Schools.

Season for Caring is the Statesman’s holiday charity program, but the donations help families throughout the year. Each year, local nonprofit agencies nominate families to the program. The 12 selected families get their needs met first, but then the agencies use extra money to help other families with basic needs such as rent, utilities, groceries, medical bills and transportation.

Since the program began in 1999, Season for Caring has raised more than $9.7 million. Last year, the greater Austin community donated $580,187 in monetary donations and $157,277 worth of in-kind goods and services.

Watch a video of Juana before the campaign began, here.

And watch as she receives new beds from Factory Mattress.

On Sunday, we’ll introduce you to 12 new families. All this week we’re catching up with last year’s families. Find more at Statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

Season for Caring: Where are they now? Rosa Lee Pennick

 

Rosa Lee Pennick, 85, is a home caregiver for three other women. Pennick rests on the couch that she uses as a bed every night. She needs one of the rooms in her home to be converted into a bedroom for her. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Rosa Lee Pennick, 86, is a home caregiver for three other women. Last year, Pennick rests on the couch that she uses as a bed every night. Now she has a bed.
LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Rosa Lee Pennick, 86, says, “I’m still in the care business, until I can’t do it anymore.” She’s still caring for two women in her house. Her sister-in-law, Rosemary Kindred, died this year, a month shy of 102.

One of the things Pennick is most grateful for is the new wood floors in her house instead of the old carpet. “The house smells so much better,” she says. She was afraid that people were walking in and smelling that dirty carpet, she says.

Work continues on turning a dining room into a bedroom for her, but she no longer has to sleep on the couch.

“I just don’t have the words to cover it all,” Pennick says about Season for Caring. “It brings tears of joy to my eyes. I look up to God and I say … ‘Lord, you really blessed us.’

“I felt the love and care that our people still have. We still have people like this.”

Season for Caring is the Statesman’s holiday charity program, but the donations help families throughout the year. Each year, local nonprofit agencies nominate families to the program. The 12 selected families get their needs met first, but then the agencies use extra money to help other families with basic needs such as rent, utilities, groceries, medical bills and transportation.

Since the program began in 1999, Season for Caring has raised more than $9.7 million. Last year, the greater Austin community donated $580,187 in monetary donations and $157,277 worth of in-kind goods and services.

Watch a video of Rosa Lee Pennick before the campaign began, here.

On Sunday, we’ll introduce you to 12 new families. All this week we’re catching up with last year’s families. Find more at Statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

Season for Caring: Where are they now? Sherra Parten

During the Memorial Day floods, Sherra Parten was living in C.M. Allen Homes, a public housing project in San Marcos. After the floods, her home was uninhabitable. In June, Parten was able to move into a mobile home in San Marcos, where she now lives with her 33-year-old daughter, Julie Payne and Payne's daughter, Amanda, 3. Andy Sharp / For the American-Statesman.
During the 2015 Memorial Day floods, Sherra Parten was living in C.M. Allen Homes, a public housing project in San Marcos. After the floods, her home was uninhabitable. Andy Sharp / For the American-Statesman.

Sherra Parten, 57 who lost her San Marcos home in a flood, has been able to do more with her cake decorating business with Season for Caring money that bought her a freezer and with mentorship from professional cake decorator Janette Pfertner.

Her agency, Community Action Inc., is working with her on a plan to set up a fund to take care of granddaughter Amanda, 4, who’s mother, Julie Payne, 35, has intellectual differences.

Season for Caring is the Statesman’s holiday charity program, but the donations help families throughout the year. Each year, local nonprofit agencies nominate families to the program. The 12 selected families get their needs met first, but then the agencies use extra money to help other families with basic needs such as rent, utilities, groceries, medical bills and transportation.

Since the program began in 1999, Season for Caring has raised more than $9.7 million. Last year, the greater Austin community donated $580,187 in monetary donations and $157,277 worth of in-kind goods and services.

Watch a video of Sherra Parten before the campaign began, here.

On Sunday, we’ll introduce you to 12 new families. All this week we’re catching up with last year’s families. Find more at Statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

Season for Caring: Where are they now? Tabitha McGee

Tabitha McGee, 42, has had breast cancer for four years. She is an Army veteran and now works with special education students. Andy Sharp / For the American-Statesman
Tabitha McGee, 43, has had breast cancer for five years, but it is now in remission. Andy Sharp / For the American-Statesman

Tabitha McGee’s best news is that her breast cancer is in remission. Both of her daughters are going to school at the University of North Texas in Denton. McGee, 43, is working as a substitute teacher in the Round Rock School District and still trying to get disability for her asthma, which she is struggling with right now.

Season for Caring, she says, “helped put me at ease.” She was able to catch up on mortgage payments and car payments. “It took a lot of stress off. I could focus on getting healthy.”

Season for Caring is the Statesman’s holiday charity program, but the donations help families throughout the year. Each year, local nonprofit agencies nominate families to the program. The 12 selected families get their needs met first, but then the agencies use extra money to help other families with basic needs such as rent, utilities, groceries, medical bills and transportation.

Since the program began in 1999, Season for Caring has raised more than $9.7 million. Last year, the greater Austin community donated $580,187 in monetary donations and $157,277 worth of in-kind goods and services.

Watch a video of the McGee family before Season for Caring, here.

On Sunday, Nov. 27, we’ll introduce you to a dozen new families. All this week you can learn how the 2015 Season for Caring families are doing.

Read all the stories and make a donation at statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

Season for Caring: Where are they now? Siriro Hakizimana

Siriro Hakizimana received a 2004 Dodge Durango from Christian Brothers Automotive last May. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Siriro Hakizimana received a 2004 Dodge Durango from Christian Brothers Automotive last May. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Last year, Siriro Hakizimana, 33, his wife, Clotilde Intirampeba, 30, and their five children had their first big American Christmas after living in a refugee camp in Tanzania. Readers and Gensler architects’ Austin office adopted the family and filled their apartment with gifts. One of the family’s biggest challenges was getting to and from their jobs at downtown hotels. Hakizimana would ride a bike eight miles in the middle of the night.

Season for Caring helped Hakizimana learn how to drive, and Christian Brothers Automotive found and fixed a car for him to drive.

Last July, the family moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to be closer to relatives, who had an extra house for them to live in. On Sept. 20, they welcomed a new baby, Mathias, who has undergone heart surgeries and is still in the hospital.

Hakizimana and Intirampeba have not found jobs yet in Iowa, but Hakizimana is taking a course to become an auto mechanic. About Season for Caring, Hakizimana told Caritas, the agency that nominated him: “I thank my God for what He did.”

Season for Caring is the Statesman’s holiday charity program, but the donations help families throughout the year. Each year, local nonprofit agencies nominate families to the program. The 12 selected families get their needs met first, but then the agencies use extra money to help other families with basic needs such as rent, utilities, groceries, medical bills and transportation.

Since the program began in 1999, Season for Caring has raised more than $9.7 million. Last year, the greater Austin community donated $580,187 in monetary donations and $157,277 worth of in-kind goods and services.

Watch a video of the Hakizimana family before Season for Caring, here.

Watch a video of Siriro Hakizimana receiving his car and the family receiving gifts from Gensler architects.

On Sunday, Nov. 27, we’ll introduce you to a dozen new families. All this week you can learn how the 2015 Season for Caring families are doing.

Read all the stories and make a donation at statesman.com/seasonforcaring.