Where are they now? Maricela Garcia

Maricela Garcia, 43, will begin school in January to become a certified nursing assistant. This will help her support her son, Raymond, 10, who has Renpenning syndrome, which causes intellectual disabilities.

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

Garcia was part of the Statesman Season for Caring program last year. Every year, the Statesman tells the story of 12 families who have been nominated to the program by local nonprofit organizations. We invite the community and local businesses to donate a gift of money or goods or services on the families’ wish lists. Donations are given to the featured families first, and then, every year, Season for Caring funds help hundreds of other families through the selected nonprofit agencies.

Last year, Season for Caring raised more than $840,000 to help the community. On Nov. 26, we’ll introduce you to 12 new families who need your help, but first, we take a look back at the families from last year and share how they are doing.

This year, Garcia was able to learn how to drive and received a car through Season for Caring.

“It was beautiful,” she says of what the program did for her family. “Everything I need for Raymond, I got. Thank you. Thank you.”

To make a donation to Season for Caring, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at austin360.com/raisingaustin. She tweets at @raisingaustin.