Season for Caring crosses $500,000 mark in donations

When we launched Season for Caring on Nov. 27, we told you about 12 families who had significant needs this year. Theirs were stories of cancer, of loss, of refugees coming to America, of children with rare diseases and of adults with limited mobility. And then we invited you to give. And you have.

In the first 25 days, Season for Caring has raised $379,912.68 in monetary donations and $120,972.96 in in-kind donations of goods and services for a total of $500,385.64.

That number sounds big, but our 12 local nonprofit agency partners need so much more to be able to help more and more families with basic needs such as rent, utilities, transportation, medical care, clothing and food. Season for Caring donations become their emergency fund throughout the year.

New this year is a matching grant of up to $100,000 from the Sheth family through Tuesday. Now is the best time to make your monetary donation at statesman.com/seasonforcaring or clip out the coupon that runs daily in the paper and send in your check to Statesman Season for Caring, P. O. Box 50066, Austin, TX 78763-0066.

This has also been a big week for Season for Caring. Today, Francisco Zuñiga-Echeverria will pick up his new glasses at Northwest Hills Eye Care and get his new hearing aids from Better Hearing Center of Austin. 

On Sunday, we watched as the McGill family was flooded with gifts from Grisham Middle School art and theater students. Read about that on Christmas morning.

We saw the Vasquez Olais family receive Christmas presents from Star Furniture, and next week, they’ll get to pick out furniture for their new apartment.

We caught up with Terry Markland, who now has a motorized wheelchair from National Seating and Mobility.

Friday we’re going to see a used van be delivered to Jacob Rodriguez-Lopez from an anonymous family foundation that also has supplied a year’s worth of rent and utilities.

This week the King family had their house professionally cleaned using Season for Caring donations and New Stone Concepts is measuring the house for new sinks and counters for the kitchen and bathroom.

 

Many families still have many wishes to be met. Read their stories and see if you can grant one of their wishes:

  • Terry Markland, 65, is living in an independent senior center after recently being homeless.  RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

    Terry Markland, 65, is living in an independent senior center after recently being homeless.
    RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

    Terry Markland, 65, has decades-old injuries to his feet and needs knee replacements. Medicare will cover some, but not all, of his recovery. He needs help with utility bills, clothing and transportation to church. To help, call Family Eldercare at 512-450-0844 or visit familyeldercare.org.

  • Ashley McGill and her family’s life forever changed when their car was hit from behind. She is unable to work because of debilitating headaches. She needs a living room sectional, a computer and printer, and help with medical bills, rent and car insurance. To help, call Wonders & Worries at 512-329-5757 or visit wondersandworries.org.
  • Luis Olais, 21, has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which daughter, Delilah, 3, also has. He and his partner, Keila Vasquez, 20, are waiting to hear if their son, 3-month-old Noah, has it as well. It affects connective tissue and joints and limits the kind of work that Olais can do. They need help with rent, child care, laptops and cosmetology school tuition. To help, call SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone) at 512-590-3114 or visit safeaustin.org.
  • Francisco Zuñiga-Echeverria, 28, poses for a portrait in the community garden where he grows vegetables and herbs he uses for cooking at his apartment  complex. Rodolfo Gonzalez AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

    Francisco Zuñiga-Echeverria, 28, poses for a portrait in the community garden where he grows vegetables and herbs he uses for cooking at his apartment complex. Rodolfo Gonzalez AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

    Francisco Zuñiga-Echeverria, 28, grew up in foster care and was homeless. He would like allergy testing as well as a green moped scooter to get around town, help with school, alert devices for the hearing-impaired, culinary classes and gift cards. To help, call LifeWorks at 512-735-2473 or visit lifeworksaustin.org.Issa Noheli, 61, and his family came to Austin after living for 17 years in refugee camps in Central Africa. He lost his leg in an attack on a camp. He needs a prosthetic leg, but the family of 11 also needs a gently used car, a washer, a dryer, English tutoring and a vacuum cleaner. To help, call Interfaith Action of Central Texas at 512-386-9145 or visit interfaithtexas.org

  • Sheila King, 49, and her family lost her 15-year-old son, Austen, to suicide in July. Two months later, his father, Harrell King, 61, and his grandmother, Janie Chandler, 66, died from cancer. The Kings have many needs, but their largest is home remodeling, appliances, laptops, a gently used car and gift cards to Home Depot. To help, call CareBox Program at 512-296-2180 or visit careboxprogram.org.
  • Maricela Garcia cares for her son Raymond Alejandro Martinez-Garcia, 9,  at their apartment. JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

    Maricela Garcia cares for her son Raymond Alejandro Martinez-Garcia, 9, at their apartment. JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

    Maricela Garcia, 42, is worried that her son Raymond, 9, who has Renpenning syndrome, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, isn’t getting the physical, occupational and speech therapy he needs. She needs car repairs and driving lessons, rent and utilities assistance; pots and pans; sign language lessons and an iPad that Raymond can use to communicate. To help, call Foundation Communities at 512-610-7391 or visit foundcom.org.

  • Liliana De La Paz, 29, and Juan Martínez Domínguez, 28, have two sons with spinal muscular atrophy type 2. Both 9-year-old Juan Diego and 3-year-old Jesús use motorized wheelchairs; Juan Diego is on a ventilator. They need electric blankets, pillows, a high dining room table and chairs, and clothing. To help, call Any Baby Can at 512-454-3743 or visit anybabycan.org.
  • 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 had stage IV cervical cancer, died Dec. 2.
    RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

    The family members of Rosalba Martínez-López have been heartbroken by the loss of their mother and grandmother, who died Dec. 2 from cervical cancer. She was 37. Now her four children and granddaughter are trying to figure out what life will be like without her. They need help with rent, a reliable used car, transportation to school, diapers, day care and tuition. To help, call Care Communities at 512-459-5883 or visit thecarecommunities.org.

  • Uliya Fazal Ahmad, 48, who came with her five children to the United States this year from Afghanistan, needs help with medical care for a broken ankle. Her family needs vocational training, English tutoring and English learning software, and lamps. To help, call Caritas of Austin at 512-646-1277 or visit caritasofaustin.org.
  • Jacob Rodriguez-Lopez, 26, and his 4-year-old daughter, Emely, live without wife and mother, Adriana, who died in August from cervical cancer. Emely, who has Down syndrome, was diagnosed this month with leukemia. Their needs have grown as this new diagnosis makes his ability to work uncertain. They have no family in Austin. They need help with gift cards and financial donations to get them through her treatments. To help, call Hospice Austin at 512-342-4726 or visit hospiceaustin.org.
  • Deloris Fields, 27, found out her breast cancer had spread to her bones the day after her son, Connor, was born last December. She needs a first-floor apartment, a laptop, printer and external hard drive, a couch, a dresser, coffee table and lamps. To help, call Breast Cancer Resource Center at 512-817-9775 or visit bcrc.org.