Monday, November 24, 2008

Help the 100 neediest families in the Lou

I was browsing the online edition of the paper and saw something about 100 neediest families in St. Louis. I admit I’m a bit skeptical with giving charitable donations-I don’t always believe that the dollars collected really will be given to the families in need. I’ve read too many horror stories about how communities rallied to “save” someone, only to find out the money collected goes to the cause, not necessarily the person or that so much goes to the administrative costs. As you might know, my good friend Lucy profiles good causes on her Good Cause Monday posts. She has inspired me to be more philanthropic so decided to take the time to investigate. I found out that every dollar does indeed goes to the needy families, and that you can even designate who you want what to go to. I'd never heard of it, so I thought I'd share the info with you.

From the website:
Each year, more than 10,000 families in need receive help from the 100 Neediest Cases program. An effort is made to assist every case in some way. With your help and big heart, we can make the holiday season a joyous one for thousands of people in the St. Louis region.
All administrative and fund raising costs are absorbed by United Way of Greater St. Louis, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and more than 100 area social service agencies. Every dollar raised for the 100 Neediest Cases program goes directly to help people.

Here’s two cases, out of the 100.

Mrs. D, 73, lives with her husband on a fixed income. Both are disabled and diabetic.
After suffering a stroke, Mrs. D is losing her vision. She also is coping with high blood pressure, a heart condition and Alzheimer's disease and must use a walker to get around. But even with the walker, she has trouble getting around, as she is missing half of one of her feet.
She also no longer has taste buds.
Mrs. D and her husband need a refrigerator, as theirs is falling apart and no longer able to freeze food. They also need help with eyeglasses, medical bills and food.

Another one:

It was a rough introduction to the world: V was born with his kidneys outside his body. At age 11, he leaks urine and has to wear adult diapers.
His mother, Ms. W, has medical issues of her own, and has suffered several strokes. This little family receives income only once a month; the money often runs out before the month does. And that means Ms. W can't buy V's diapers. When that happens, V has to stay home from school: He needs several changes every day, and goes to the nurse's office to change them.
There's no laundromat in their neighborhood, and the W's don't have a washer. Ms. W has to do the laundry by hand. V frequently goes to school smelling of stale urine, and his classmates can be cruel. In spite of it all, the people who know him report that he's a sweet, polite boy, and doesn't complain. Contribute online
The family desperately needs a washing machine. Also near the top of their wish list are gift certificates for new clothes, groceries and diapers. Your help could make an enormous difference in V's life.

And the stories go on. Here’s how to help:

ADOPT: Individuals, corporations, families and organizations can volunteer to adopt one of the 100 families. Adopters are encouraged to fill at least one of the family's stated needs and to buy at least one present for each child. Everything goes directly to the family, through the family's social worker.
DONATE: The 100 Neediest Cases general fund is used to help the 12,000 other families identified for the program. Every family will receive something, and every dollar will go directly to a needy family. Last year, $1.3 million was raised and distributed.
HOW: To adopt a family or make a donation, call 314-421-6060 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays, send mail to 100 Neediest Cases, Box 955925, St. Louis Mo. 63195-5925, or go to To review the cases that have been published, go to
Checks should be made out to 100 Neediest Cases and sent to:
100 Neediest Cases
P.O. Box 955925
St. Louis, Mo. 63195-5925

Check your local paper / community services and see if such a program exists near you. If not, please check those cases out and send some diapers, socks, etc to these families in need. If you're in the Lou let me know and maybe we can all go in on a more sizable purchase to really help them out, like a deep freezer for that couple.


LucyinStLou said...

Great cause! I've been reading these all week and feeling so sad for these families.

Amy said...

im a social worker for kiddos with special needs, and we submit at least 100+ families each year, you will be suprised by the generosity of our fellow st. lousians. I mean it is truly amazing!!!

for the families we work with that get adopted, we get the PLEASURE of dropping off the goodies, its one of my favorite things about working here.....

WineLush said...

How wonderful to be the actual Santas!! I bet its a very rewarding and wonderful experience.