Giving Fund helping Greenwich for the 36th year
With the holiday festivities here, the Giving Fund is telling the stories of local residents who have fallen on hard times this season and that the community can help make a difference in their lives.
A joint venture between local nonprofits Family Centers and Person-to-Person along with the Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time, the Giving Fund is continuing its goal of helping at-need individuals in the community for a 36th year.
Bill Brucker, vice president of Greenwich-based Family Centers, said that even in a community that has great resources and local services available, there are still many in Fairfield County who need a helping hand.
“What makes the Giving Fund unique is that helps meet basic necessities that many of us take for granted for a number of people,” Brucker said. “This could be medication to stay in their health or could go toward a much-needed car repair to someone who is constrained by income.”
Last year, the Giving Fund received over $52,000 in donations, Brucker said.
Nancy Coughlin, who joined the nonprofit Person-to-Person as CEO this past summer, said the donations that residents make to the Giving Fund helps individuals and families directly.
“This is a time of the year when people are thinking about helping others, and teaching their children about generosity and service and understanding that we’re part of a community where it’s not unusual to help now and again,” Coughlin said. “We see people all year long and and do everything we can to help them.”
The Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time will publish new cases in print on Thursdays and Sundays throughout the holidays with a coupon for making donations. There will be a full list of cases online.
Every story will feature a person or family and their challenges. Every dollar donated to the Giving Fund will go directly to the person in need.
The Giving Fund does not focus on providing gifts nor toys but rather on direct assistance to an individual or a family’s living situation for everyday expenses some of us take for granted.
For this first installment of The Giving Fund, here are the stories of 10 neighbors in need:
Case #300: Charlie, 70, has been diagnosed with a chronic mental illness. He struggles each month to live on a very low income from Social Security benefits. His 12-year-old car is badly in need of repairs, but he cannot afford to have them done. A gift of $798 would cover the cost of new tires, new brake pads and other needed fixes on his car and keep him connected to the outside world.
Case #301: Gregory and Lisa have chronic mental disabilities and are struggling to live on low fixed incomes. Each month, they choose which bills they will pay in full and which bills they can only partially pay. They are currently backed up in paying their rent. A gift of $775 would help them become current with their rent and give them considerable peace of mind for the holidays.
Case #302: Charles is a dedicated aide for an elderly man. But he is finding it difficult to survive on his salary and decided to go back to school to become a chef. He has been getting A’s and is excited about eventually pursuing his new career, which will provide a higher salary. School is an hour away, and Charles is having a hard time keeping up with his travel and food expenses. Charles would benefit from $400 to catch up on his debts.
Case #303: Sam has been on disability for many years due to a long-term physical and mental illness. He finds that it is hard to leave his home due to fears and obsessions. The only time he leaves is to help an elder in his building or to go to a medical appointment. Playing music was his most effective therapy, but he no longer has a working keyboard. Sam would benefit from receiving $400 for a new keyboard, so that he has something to look forward to in his daily life and eventually share his music with others.
Case #304: Dora is a mother of two children, a 7-year-old boy and a 1-year-old girl. Dora’s son needs a $2,000 dental procedure that involves a tooth extraction and the removal of a blockage that is stopping the growth of one of his adult front teeth. He does not have insurance to cover the cost of this procedure. Dora works full time, but after paying for food, rent and childcare for her 1-year-old, she has little left over. Dora has been trying to save since she learned her son needed the procedure nearly six months ago. A gift of $800 would help Dora meet the full cost of this medically necessary procedure.
Case #305: Betty is in the process of divorcing her husband, who for years has emotionally and physically abused her. With the support of her family, Betty has found the strength to leave him. A gift of $500 would allow Betty to cover her moving expenses.
Case #306: Rebecca is a single mother of two who struggles financially to provide basic needs for her children. She is currently employed, however, she fell behind on her rent and is having a hard time catching up. With a gift of $800, Rebecca would have the money she needs to avoid eviction from her home.
Case #307: Eve is a single mother of five who is coping with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Eve is a survivor of domestic violence, which her children witnessed. Three of her children are also diagnosed with PTSD as a result. In order to ensure her children’s needs are met, Eve has decided to work part time at night to be available to accompany her children to their mental health appointments. As a result, she is struggling to provide the basic needs for her family. A gift of $800 would allow Eve to purchase coats for the winter and food for her five children.
Case #308: Jessica is a mother to seven children who range in age from 6 months old to 7 years old. Jessica is battling postpartum depression as she navigates her own identity and being a stay-at-home mother to her children. Her fiancée is the sole financial provider with the responsibility of feeding the whole family. Jessica and her fiancée struggle to meet basic needs and necessities for their children. With a gift of $600, Jessica could purchase beds for her children.
Case #309: Katia’s parents were in their early teens when she was born; to say that she grew up fast is an understatement. She has always fended for herself, buying her own clothes and necessities by working every day after school. She wants to be the first person in her family to attend college, but her parents don’t understand the value of such an investment. A gift of $500 to cover the unexpected expenses of college (transportation to and from home, dorm furniture and school supplies) would help make her dream a reality.