On Thanksgiving weekend, we shared the stories of 12 local families, who have incredible stories of resilience in tough times. We asked you to make a difference in their lives.
Many of you have opened up your hearts and given something of yourself, something you no longer needed, purchased something new or have given a monetary donation.
This year, Statesman Season for Caring has raised $592,727.86 in monetary donations and another $175,125 in in-kind donations of goods and services. With $767,852.86, the 2017 Season for Caring is now the third best program year. We are about $73,000 away from having the best Season for Caring ever. Since 1999, Season for Caring has given $11.3 million to the local community.
We have so much more to do this year and you have more time to give.
Each year, the Season for Caring partner agencies are tasked to help the featured families’ needs first but then help hundreds of other families they serve with basic needs such as rent, utilities, groceries, clothing, medical bills and transportation. Season for Caring is these nonprofit organizations’ emergency fund for their clients.
Season for Caring donations will be accepted through Jan. 31 for this year.
You can make your donation online at statesman.com/seasonforcaring. Click the Donate to Season for Caring tab. Or you can find a coupon in the paper each day to mail in your donation or mail it to Austin Community Foundation c/o Statesman Season for Caring, 4315 Guadalupe St., Suite 300, Austin, TX 78751.
This Christmas season has been an amazing one for the families featured in Statesman Season for Caring program.
In the last few weeks, we’ve seen Syrian refugees the Ashour family get a new car from AeLK Foundation and Apple Leasing, new bikes from Waste Connections, and a new apartment that was fully furnished by Star Furniture and Chair Whimsy.
We’ve watched the Ríos Marcial family also move into a new apartment furnished by Season for Caring donations.
We’ve seen new beds delivered by Factory Mattress to the featured families, including Marcelo Gracia. We’ve watched him get home care from BrightStar Care and see his son get the opportunity to become a certified nursing assistant and have a future job with BrightStar Care.
We’ve seen Lyric Wardlow and all the families get free dental care from Capital Area Dental Foundation.
We’ve watched Donovan Clay ride a new bike from Waste Connections and visited his mom Bertha Foster, who returned home from a month in the hospital and rehabilitation center.
We’ve seen the Sherwood family take their fur babies to the Firehouse Animal Center, which offered care to all the families with pets this year.
We’ve watch 9-year-old Haji Mada try out his new electric wheelchair from National Seating & Mobility and Quantum Rehab, while his mom Hawa Hassan watched, knowing that her child no longer had to crawl on the floor to get around.
We’ve been thrilled to learn that Joyce and Kenneth Marvel no longer have bed bugs and will meet next week with CG&S to talk about remodeling their condominium into a more accessible one.
We’ve also seen how readers reached out to 10-year-old Luis Aguilar Negron with wrestling-themed presents while his sisters Samanta, 25, and Mayleth, 18, got a computer and printer for school.
Many of the families still have needs. Check this list and see if there is something on it that you can give:
The Negron family, who lost their father to a car accident last December, need help with tuition assistance, a used car and car repairs to their existing car, living room furniture and a math tutor for Luis. Foundation Communities, 512-610-7391, foundcom.org.
Joyce and Kenneth Marvel, who both have intellectual disabilities and are 74 and 65, need more in-home care for Joyce, who uses a walker, a medical alert system and new all furniture. Family Eldercare, 512-450-0844, familyeldercare.org.
The Sherwood family — Mom Trisha, 40, who has multiple sclerosis; son Alden, 16, who is in a wheelchair after brain cancer; and son Jacob, 13, who is on the autism spectrum — needs an accessible apartment, an assistance dog, help with rent and utilities, grocery store gift cards, art therapy and equine therapy, clothing, and gift cards to the movies or Game Stop. Any Baby Can, 512-454-3743, anybabycan.org.
Jazmyne Johnson, 24, needs a car to transport her children to and from their HeadStart program, an apartment near Hutto and tuition assistance for her to go to college to pursue a career in biotechnology. Opportunities for Williamson and Burnet Counties, 512-763-1400, opportunitiesforwbc.org
Bertha Foster, 43, who is paralyzed from a series of strokes, needs assistance getting a large apartment so she can be moved out of bed more easily as well as a car for Donovan and driver’s education, and a cellphone for him and service. Meals on Wheels Central Texas at 512-476-6325, Ext. 159 or at www.mealsonwheelscentraltexas.org.
Lyric Wardlow, 19, who grew up homeless, needs tuition assistance, health insurance, gas cards and bus passes, cat food and litter, a gym membership, camping supplies, a cell phone and service, a bedroom furniture set, lamps, dishes and glasses, a vacuum, towels and bedding, gift cards for books and home supplies. LifeWorks, 512-735-2400, lifeworksaustin.org
Hawa Hassan, 30, who grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya, needs pots and pans and kitchen utensils, bedding, dressers, after-school tutoring for all the kids, a minivan with a wheelchair lift and driver’s education, and everything for a new baby. Caritas of Austin, 512-646-1277, caritasofaustin.org.
Nikki Jones, 35, who has common variable immune deficiency, still has many things on her list including a playhouse or swingset for Adeline, a backyard awning, foundation repair, a dish washer, toothbrushes, colorful adhesive bandages, help with medical bills, a small pet for Adeline, food delivery service, gym membership, and gift cards. Wonders & Worries, 512-329-5757, wondersandworries.org.
Matias family — Margarita, 72, who has ovarian cancer, Jessie, 60, who had kidney cancer, and son Ricky, 46, who has cerebral palsy and testicular cancer — need a wheelchair lift for their truck, ceiling fans, microwave, smartphones, Tejano music CDs, an electrical wiring upgrade, and a new window. CareBox Program, 512-296-2180, careboxprogram.org.
Rogaciano Ríos Marcial, 46, who lost his wife in May and is raising his four children alone, needs a TV stand, renter’s insurance, kids books and bookshelves, clothes for 10-year-old Alma, new shoes for all the children, a computer and Internet. Boys & Girls Club of the Austin area at 512-444-7199 or visit bgcaustin.org.
Marcelo Gracia, 45, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease, needs help with living expenses, more care expenses, a tablet and wireless printer for his son, Gael, who is his main caregiver. Hospice Austin, 512-342-4726, hospiceaustin.org.