You are doing it, Central Texas. You are making a huge difference in the lives of the 12 featured Statesman Season for Caring families and having a big impact on hundreds of other families served by the 12 local nonprofit agencies that nominated them.
As of noon Wednesday, Season for Caring has raised $105,046, about $30,000 more than the same time last year, and it has raised $41,175 since Monday that will be matched by the Sheth family. The Austin family has pledged to match up to $100,000 for donations received from Monday to Dec. 11. Let’s knock that out of the park!
If you haven’t get made your donation yet, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring and click on the Donate to Season for Caring link.
What does your Season for Caring donation do? It will help hundreds of local families with basic needs like rent, medical care, utilities, transportation, grocery store gift cards, education needs, funeral expenses, and wheelchair ramps and shower chairs — and not just during the holidays, but throughout the rest of the year.
Our nonprofit partner agencies depend on Season for Caring funds to be their emergency assistance funds. Since 1999, Season for Caring has donated $10.5 million to local nonprofit organizations.
This year, the Statesman selected these agencies and families:
• Any Baby Can, Sherwood family: Trisha Sherwood, 40, has multiple sclerosis. Her 16-year-old son Alden had a brain tumor and now is in a wheelchair. And 13-year-old son Jacob is on the autism spectrum.
• Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area, Ríos Marcial family: Rogaciano Ríos Marcial, 46, lost his wife just after Mother’s Day to liver complications. He is raising four children ages 5 to 10 on his own.
• CareBox Program, Matias family: Margarita Matias, 72, has stage 4 ovarian cancer. Her husband, Jessie, 60, had kidney cancer. They are caring for son Ricky, 46, who has cerebral palsy and testicular cancer.
• Caritas of Austin, Hassan family: Hawa Hassan, 30, grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya. She was able to come to the U.S. with her three children, one of whom has muscular dystrophy and can no longer walk.
• Family Eldercare, Marvel family: Kenneth and Joyce Marvel both have intellectual disabilities. He’s 65 and has been able to support them by washing dishes at El Mercado, but soon it will be time to retire. She’s 73 and was injured when a bus ran over her toe.
• Foundation Communities, Negron family: Mayra Negron Romero, 45, lost her husband in a car accident last December. Her daughter Samanta, 25, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January.
• Hospice Austin, Marcelo Gracia: Marcelo Gracia, 45, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2011. His son Gael Guadalupe Gracia Garcia, 24, has become his caretaker.
• Interfaith Action of Central Texas, Ashour family: Sami Ashour, 48, his wife, Ahlam Al Battal, 38, and their children had to leave war-torn Syria for a refugee camp in Jordan and then made it to the United States. Many of their friends and family did not survive the war.
• LifeWorks, Lyric Wardlow: Lyric Wardlow, 19, became homeless when she was 9, but she found a way to get her high school diploma. She wants to go to college to become an advocate for the homeless.
• Meals on Wheels Central Texas, Foster family: After a series of strokes left Bertha Foster, 43, partially paralyzed, she now relies on family members, including her 15-year-old son Donovan, to care for her.
• Opportunities for Williams & Burnet Counties, Johnson family: Jazmyne Johnson, 24, has 4-year-old twin daughters and a 3-year-old son. Her daughter Nakayla has developmental delays from her skull not growing large enough to fit her brain.
• Wonders & Worries, Jones family: Nikki Jones, 35, wants nothing more than to see daughter Adeline, 6, graduate from high school. Jones has common variable immune deficiency, which makes her vulnerable to infections.
Read the stories of these families. If you can make a donation of something on their wish list, contact the nonprofit agency directly.
Thank you to everyone who has given so far. Let’s make this the best Season for Caring ever.