Capital Area Dental Foundation receives $20,000 St. David’s Foundation grant

Capital Area Dental Foundation will be able to do two additional Community Dental Day events this year because of a $20,000 grant from the St. David’s Foundation. Last year, Capital Area Dental Foundation worked with Dentists with a Heart to provide care at two Dental Days, including one for Statesman Season for Caring families. Those two events provided $60,000 worth of care to 120 people.

“I never thought this day would come,” said Lyric Wardlow, a Season for Caring recipient last year, before receiving her free teeth-cleaning. “I can’t remember the last time I’ve been to a doctor’s office.”

Season for Caring’s Lyric Wardlow talks with dental hygienist Richardeen Bowden during her examine at Rose Dental Group through Capital Area Dental Foundation on Saturday. The group donated services to all families involved in Season for Caring. Deborah Cannon/For American-Statesman

The two additional Dental Days will be in September and November. The goal is to serve 300 uninsured people during these events.

Patients will be identified through some of Capital Area Dental Foundation’s existing programs — Healthy Smiles for Texans and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — as well as collaboration with other organizations including Community First Village, CommUnityCare, Family Eldercare and the Breast Cancer Resource Center.

“The collaboration between the Capital Area Dental Foundation and the St. David’s Foundation will extend access to many of our area’s adults who cannot afford dental care by engaging private dentists. While the need is great, when we all take a piece of the challenge, together we make a difference. Everyone deserves the opportunity to speak, chew and smile without pain or oral disease,” said St. David’s Foundation Chief Dental Officer, Dr. Shailee Gupta in a press release.

Patients are seen by appointment and then referred to private practice volunteer dentists for further treatment as needed. Dental care provided ranges from preventive screenings, cleanings and extractions to more complex care.

Dental Days is not the only way Capital Area Dental Foundation provides care.  In 2016-2017, it provided $474,000 in donated dental care to more than 1,200 patients through 140 volunteer dentists. It regularly works with clients of Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, St. Vincent de Paul, HeartGift, TDA Smiles Foundation and the families chosen for Statesman Season for Caring.

 

 

 

Capital Area Dental Foundation Receives Grant to Expand Community Dental Day Program.

The Capital Area Dental Foundation has been awarded a $20,000 grant from St. David’s Foundation to expand its Community Dental Day program.

In the past year, CADF has held two pilot Community Dental Days, in partnership with Dentists with a Heart. These events, which have been held at Rose Dental offices in North and South Austin, offered no-cost dental care to underserved and uninsured individuals and families, including families served through the Austin American-Statesman Season for Caring program.

During the two pilot events, CADF volunteers delivered over $60,000 in charitable dental care to more than 120 patients. Funds from St. David’s Foundation grant will be used to organize and hold two additional Community Dental Days in September and November 2018 with the goal of serving 300 uninsured patients in full-day events.

 

“The collaboration between the Capital Area Dental Foundation and the St. David’s Foundation will extend access to many of our area’s adults who cannot afford dental care by engaging private dentists. While the need is great, when we all take a piece of the challenge, together we make a difference. Everyone deserves the opportunity to speak, chew and smile without pain or oral disease,” said St. David’s Foundation Chief Dental Officer, Shailee Gupta, DDS.

Patients are seen by appointment and referred to private practice volunteer dentists for further treatment as needed. Dental care provided ranges from preventive screenings, cleanings and extractions to more complex care.

Any dentists, hygienists or assistants interested in volunteering should contact Capital Area Dental Foundation at volunteer@capitalareadentalfoundation.org.

 

Season for Caring client Qusay Hussein graduates from ACC

In 2006, Qusay Hussein was left for dead after a suicide attack in his native Mosul, Iraq. The explosion blew off his face and left him blind.

In 2018, Hussein donned the robes of a recipient of an Austin Community College associate’s degree and spoke at the graduation ceremony last week about his journey.

Qusay Hussein at his ACC graduation ceremony where he spoke about his past and future. Contributed

“Each one of us has something to learn and something to teach,” he told the cheering crowd. “This country has given me the opportunity of hope for a new life.”

Hussein, 29, also received the ACC presidential student achievement award and was accepted the University of Texas for the fall semester. He plans become a psychologist.

In the intervening years, Hussein received medical care from the U.S. military in Iraq, from Doctors without Borders at a refugee camp in Jordan. But he did not receive trauma counseling early on.

In Austin, he was assisted regularly by Interfaith Action of Central Texas, an interfaith action group that works with refugees, among other causes. All along, Hussein said he wanted to counsel others who have gone through traumatic stress, especially the loss of sight.

ORIGINAL: Blinded by a bomb, Iraqi refugee seeks to counsel others.

In 2013, Hussein was the focus of the Statesman’s Season for Caring campaign that each year highlights the needs of about a dozen Central Texas families and helps hundreds of others through reader donations. Since 1999, American-Statesman readers have given more than $11.6 million in cash and in-kind donations, including a record-setting 2017 year, in which more than $1 million was raised for local nonprofit organizations.

When the Statesman first featured him, Hussein spoke almost no English. Among other things, he needed a good deal more facial reconstruction.

Qusay Hussein has had more than 50 surgeries on his face after a car bomb in Iraq blinded him when he was 17. RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2013

In 2014, Huessin received training from the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center and Foundation Communities. In 2016, Hussein earned his GED from ACC. He also received intense help that year from Austin surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Cone, who reworked his face and nasal passage. Season for Caring donations have helped him be able to receive his education.

Soon, Hussein will return to Iraq for the first time in more than five years to visit his family.

“We are truly in this together,” Hussein told the graduation assembly. “Help people every day. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Do it today.”

Father featured in Season for Caring dies

Marcelo Gracia was just waiting for God. He said God was the only one who could decide whether to leave him with his family for a little while longer, or to bring him home.

Marcelo Gracia was able to have a good quality of life these last few months with home health care from BrightStar Care and Season for Caring. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

For six years, Gracia lived with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which causes muscles to waste away.

On Wednesday, Gracia had one good last day before he died. He was 45.

Gracia and his son and main caregiver Gael Guadalupe Gracia Garcia, 24, were part of the 2017 Statesman Season for Caring program, which highlights the needs of 12 families nominated by local nonprofit organizations and then helps hundreds of other families served by the agencies. The Gracias were nominated by Hospice Austin.

Before he was diagnosed, Gracia worked in construction and helped install large storm drains and sewer lines for the City of Austin and commercial projects.

“During this past year, his illness has been progressing faster than any other year before,” Gracia Garcia said in October, after Gracia’s doctors had told them Gracia would only have a few more months to live.

Yet, after a good day of being alert, it was a surprise when it happened, said Melinda Marble, communications coordinator with Hospice Austin.

Season for Caring funds and a donation from BrightStar Care made sure that Gracia was not alone these last few months by providing home health care assistance that made sure Gracia Garcia could continue to work in a laundry mat to support his father. BrightStar Care also offered to pay for Gracia Garcia to go to school to become a certified nursing assistant and a job in the future.

“Season for Caring brought Marcelo and Gael so much comfort and so much quality of life these last few months,” Marble said. “To be able to provide him with a full-time caregiver was priceless. It gave Gael peace of mind.”

Season for Caring also reunited Gracia with his wife, who lives in Indiana. She was able to visit during the Christmas holidays using Season for Caring funds. Funds also will help pay for the cremation, and a burial plot also was donated.

“The community showed so much generosity to this family,” Marble said.

Gracia leaves behind son Gracia Garcia and daughter Carmen as well as grandson 4-year-old Iram, with whom Gracia had a special bond.

Gracia said in October that he was proud of Iram, and that he regretted that he wouldn’t be able to be there for more of his life.

“He still wants to see him grow,” Gracia Garcia.

Mark Wilson contributed to this report.

 

Last three days to give to Statesman Season for Caring

Have you been waiting to give to Statesman Season for Caring? You have until Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. to give to the 2017 program. Season for Caring helps the 12 featured families nominated by local nonprofit agencies, but then helps hundreds of other families served by those nonprofit agencies.

Nikki Jones cuddles with her 6-year-old daughter, Adeline, at their South Austin home. Jones has common variable immune deficiency, which makes her very susceptible to contracting diseases. She has to take weekly infusions to help fight them off and is frequently tired and homebound. QILING WANG/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Season for Caring becomes the emergency fund for these agencies, which put the money toward rent, utilities, groceries, medical bills, education and transportation for their clients.

This year, Season for Caring has broken all records and is close to raising $1 million for Central Texans.

Since launching Thanksgiving weekend, it has raised $735,365 in monetary donations and another $254,186 in in-kind donations of goods and services. With $989,551 the 2017 Season for Caring is the best year in the program’s 19-year history.

Since 1999, Season for Caring has given 11.5 million to the local community.

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.

You also can give a item on a family’s wish list. 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.

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

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.

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 Hassan30, 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,  everything for a new baby. A donor is working with Nyle Maxwell to buy a van for the family, but she will need driver’s education and insurance. 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, a kitchen remodel and new appliances and a new window. CareBox Program, 512-296-2180, careboxprogram.org.

Ashour family has had many of their needs taken care of. They do need driver’s education for wife Ahlam Al Battal. Interfaith Action of Central Texas, 512-386-9145, Ext. 7, interfaithtexas.org.

Rogaciano Ríos Marcial, 46, who lost his wife in May and is raising his four children alone, needs a TV stand, 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.

Season for Caring less than $30,000 away from raising $1 million for local families

Statesman Season for Caring  is getting so close to raising $1 million for local nonprofit agencies. Since launching Thanksgiving weekend, it has raised $734,283 in monetary donations and another $236,866 in in-kind donations of goods and services. With $971,149 the 2017 Season for Caring is the best year in the program’s history.

Since 1999, Season for Caring has given almost 11.5 million to the local community. Donations help the 12 featured families first and then help the local nonprofit organizations that nominated them help hundreds of other families throughout the year with basic needs such as rent, groceries, clothing, medical needs and an education.

You still have time to give. Season for Caring donations will be accepted through Jan. 31 (that’s Wednesday) for the 2017 giving season.

Help Season for Caring get to $1 million.

Margarita and Jesse Matias have a nonfunctional kitchen. All the appliances are broken. Margarita Matias is currently going through treatment for stage 4 ovarian cancer. Jesse Matias, who previously had kidney cancer, has been cancer free since 2011 and Margarita and Jesse’s son Ricky Felix Perez has intellectual disability, cerebral palsy and testicular cancer. Erika Rich/For American-Statesman

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.

You also can give a item on a family’s wish list. 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.

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

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.

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 Hassan30, 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,  everything for a new baby. A donor is working with Nyle Maxwell to buy a van for the family, but she will need driver’s education and insurance. 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, a kitchen remodel and new appliances and a new window. CareBox Program, 512-296-2180, careboxprogram.org.

Ashour family has had many of their needs taken care of. They do need driver’s education for wife Ahlam Al Battal. Interfaith Action of Central Texas, 512-386-9145, Ext. 7, interfaithtexas.org.

Rogaciano Ríos Marcial, 46, who lost his wife in May and is raising his four children alone, needs a TV stand, 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.

Season for Caring agencies pick up a $20,000 check donated by you

Today is a fabulous day in the land of Season for Caring. We are giving out the second round of checks to our 12 partner nonprofit agencies. In mid-December, we gave out $10,000 check. Today, each nonprofit is getting a check for $20,000.

Nehemiah Johnson, 3, plays on the playscape at Head Start in Hutto, which nominated his mother Jazmyne Johnson for Season for Caring. RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

They will use the funds to help play for some of the remaining wishes of the family they nominated to the program, as well as help hundreds of other families that they serve. Funds take care of basic needs such as rent, heat and electricity, medical bills, transportation needs and groceries.

This year, Statesman Season for Caring has raised $709.792 in monetary donations and another $210,149 in in-kind donations of goods and services. With $919,941, the 2017 Season for Caring is the best year in the program’s history. Since 1999, Season for Caring has given almost 11.5 million to the local community.

You still have time to give. 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.

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.

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

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.

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 Hassan30, 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.

Ashour family has had many of their needs taken care of. They do need driver’s education for wife Ahlam Al Battal. Interfaith Action of Central Texas, 512-386-9145, Ext. 7, interfaithtexas.org.

Rogaciano Ríos Marcial, 46, who lost his wife in May and is raising his four children alone, needs a TV stand, 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.

Season for Caring raises more than $915,000

The checks continue to be counted, the credit card donations continue to come in.

This year, Statesman Season for Caring has raised $705,124 in monetary donations and another $210,149 in in-kind donations of goods and services. With $915,273, the 2017 Season for Caring is the best year in the program’s history. Since 1999, Season for Caring has given almost 11.5 million to the local community.

Nyliah Johnson, left, her twin sister Nakayla and brother Nehemiah unwrap stuffed animals at Grisham Middle School. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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.

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 Hassan30, 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.

Ashour family has had many of their needs taken care of. They do need driver’s education for wife Ahlam Al Battal. Interfaith Action of Central Texas, 512-386-9145, Ext. 7, interfaithtexas.org.

Rogaciano Ríos Marcial, 46, who lost his wife in May and is raising his four children alone, needs a TV stand, 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.

 

 

 

Mark your calendars: P. Terry’s Giving Back Days 2018 announced

P. Terry’s Burger Stands has announced its 2018 Giving Back Days, and Season for Caring is on the list! Giving Back Days happen once a quarter and donate a day’s profits at all 14 P. Terry’s Burger Stands restaurants to a local nonprofit organization. Next year, Giving Back Days will include Taco Ranch, the new concept from P. Terry’s, which is expected to open up in mid-January at U.S. 290 and MoPac Boulevard in South Austin.

This year Giving Back Day for Season for Caring on Dec. 9 raised $34,011. Since 2009, P. Terry’s has given Season for Caring more than $198,000, and it has given a total of almost $750,000 to the community since the first P. Terry’s restaurant opened in 2005.

P. Terry’s burger stands has given more than $750,000 to the community since 2005. Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman

Save the dates for these Giving Back Days in 2018:

March 24:  Austin Pets Alive

June 16: Any Baby Can

Sept. 29:  ARC of the Capital Area

Dec. 15: Season for Caring

Come hungry and do good for Central Texas.

 

 

Season for Caring raises more than $767,000 for local families

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.

The Ashour family, refugees from Syria, moved into their new three-bedroom apartment. Cindy Zavala, left, Operations Manager for Star Furniture watches Jana, 3, and the family opens gifts from the company. RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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.

Britt Sitzes of National Seating and Mobility shows Haji Mada how to operate his new power chair. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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.

Nakayla, left, Nyliah and Nehemiah Johnson stand at the edge of a table full of gifts for them at Grisham Middle School. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

We’ve watched the Grisham Middle School Grizzlies donate more than $8,500 worth of gifts and gift cards to Jazmyne Johnson and her three children.

We went on a shopping spree at Academy with the Matias family and got to see their new accessible bathroom provided by Austin Facility Services.

We’ve seen Nikki Jones and her daughter Adeline light the Driskill Christmas tree.

We’ve seen Lyric Wardlow and all the families get free dental care from Capital Area Dental Foundation.

Steve Shannon of Waste Connections looks on as Donovan Clay, 16, smiles as he about to ride his new bike from Waste Connections. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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 celebrates after decorating the Dia de los Muertos altar at their home. The Negrons lost their father and husband, Jose, and an uncle in a car accident last year. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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.

Kenneth and Joyce Marvel have intellectual disabilities and are struggling to pay their bills.
RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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.

Alden Sherwood participates in an archery tournament at Double G Archery in Georgetown. Suzanne Cordeiro/For American-Statesman

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, is a single mother of three, from left, Nehemiah, 3, and twins Nakayla and Nyliah, 4. Nakayla has microcephaly, which has caused developmental delays.
RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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 shows her son, Donovan Clay, a picture on Facebook. ANA RAMIREZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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 works at Playland Skate Center. Wardlow spent most of her childhood homeless.
Erika Rich for American-Statesman

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, whose estimated age is 30, sits on the sofa with her three children inside their East Austin apartment. QILING WANG / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Hawa Hassan30, 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.

Lance Stumpf, the general manager at the Driskill, helps Adeline Jones, 6, as she lights the Driskill tree. Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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.​

Margarita Matias, 72, who is currently going through treatment for stage four ovarian cancer,  watches television with her son Ricky Felix Perez, 46,who has an intellectual disability, cerebral palsy and testicular cancer. Erika Rich for American – Statesman

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.

The Ashour family, refugees from Syria, sit at their new dining room table from Chair Whimsy.
RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Ashour family has had many of their needs taken care of. They do need driver’s education for Al Battal. Interfaith Action of Central Texas, 512-386-9145, Ext. 7, interfaithtexas.org.

Rogaciano Rios Marcial, right, watches three of his children explore the family’s new three-bedroom apartment. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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.

Gael Guadalupe Gracia Garcia raised his father, Marcelo Gracia’s head after it fell forward. RESHMA KIRPALANI / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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.

 

 

 

Season for Caring raises close to $580,000, gives out first grants

Monday is a big day in Season for Caring land. Our nonprofit agency partners will be receiving their first grants, which the agencies will use to help families this holiday season as well as take care of some of the featured families’ priority needs.

Jazmyne Johnson, 24, is a single mother of three, from left, Nehemiah, 3, and twins Nakayla and Nyliah, 4. Nakayla has microcephaly, which has caused developmental delays.
RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Since Season for Caring launched this year, the community has donated $459,074.60 in monetary donations. This includes the $100,000 matching grant from the Sheth family, a $25,000 donation from Whataburger, $34,011 in profits from Dec. 9’s  Giving Back Day at P. Terry’s Burger Stand, and $6,025 from Sunday’s Cookies for Caring at the Driskill Hotel.

The community also has given more than $120,000 in in-kind donations so far. With $579,074.60 worth of donations raised so far, Season for Caring is on track to have a very good year.

Since 1999, Season for Caring has donated more than $11 million to nonprofit organizations. They use the funds all year long for basic needs for their clients — food, shelter, clothing, medical care, transportation. Agencies that used to always say “No” to requests, can now say “Yes” to their clients.

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, 243, 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.

Make a donation by going online to statesman.com/seasonforcaring, or clip out the coupon in the paper each day. You can also click on each family’s story and see what the needs are for that family and contact the family’s agency directly.