Without income, she fell three months behind in rent and was borrowing money to put gas in the car to make the hospital trips and to purchase groceries. This once confident, self-supporting woman, who courageously managed her daughter’s serious diagnosis for 16 years, was not only facing the loss of her home, financial and emotional stability, as well as her pride, but also is facing an uncertain future with her daughter.
This desperate plea for help is just one of the many critical situations brought to our attention by the social work community who depend on us to support their families in crisis. Sadly, this is not an unusual case, nor is it the worst case that has come to us. This year we will assist more than 1,000 families referred to us for help by our healthcare colleagues at hospitals, medical facilities, and social service agencies throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Guess what? I get scared too, when I realize the awful effects the economy has created for families like one family recently looking for utility and rent assistance. Their one-year-old Down Syndrome daughter, with a history of cardiac problems, is cared for at home with the help of private duty nursing to handle her tracheotomy and ventilator needs. While Dad recently returned to work after being laid off, mom’s unemployment just ran out. Eviction proceedings have begun.
With the winter months fast upon us, referrals are increasing to help families purchase oil for their heaters and to cover the costs of heating bills. While we assist with all kinds of uninsured expenses like rent, transportation costs, phone bills, handicap equipment, and burial costs, last year 16% of the approximately 1,000 families served required help with heat and 34% received assistance with their electric bills. Please help us remove some of the fear, the anxiety, the “scary” situations so many of our families face when juggling the medical and out-of-pocket costs related to the care of a child with a life-threatening illness, a serious disability, or a severe injury.
So many parents and children are counting on us for help. We hope we can count on you to help us offer some relief, some stability, some reassurance to these courageous, struggling families. Please help us by clicking Donate Now at the top of this page. Your donation is greatly needed.