Posts Tagged ‘The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund’

Sight Lost, Sight Restored

Monday, November 18th, 2013

By Alice Kenny
All of us, not just the unlucky or disadvantaged, rely on the fragile human apparatus of sight for survival. Any change, great or small, can reconfigure a life.

Jasmine Carrero, along with sons Timothy, 11, and Travis, 9, have Stickler syndrome, a genetic abnormality that is stealing their sight.  They are awaiting tests to find out whether baby sister Lillian, now 5 months, must cope with this syndrome as well.

Meanwhile, Cynthia Gibbs-Pratt, 47, who works as a food stamp eligibility specialist, had 20/20 vision for most of her life.  Suddenly progressive macular degeneration began robbing her of her sight.  Her husband left her.  Now alone, she fears using a cane because it would announce to those roaming the dangerous streets where she lives that she is defenseless.

Fortunately, Catholic Charities came to their aid.

Read their profiles published on Sunday in The New York Times.:

Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Catholic Charities’ The New York Times Neediest Cases Magazine 2012-2013

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

by Alice Kenny

Profiles of hope. Profiles of courage. Profiles of charity.

For 101 years, the stories of struggle that make up The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund’s annual campaign have inspired readers to help New Yorkers in dire financial need.

Our opportunity at Catholic Charities to partner with The New York Times Foundation provides an occasion to spotlight the strength and dignity of struggling New Yorkers.

It also provides a forum for readers to join us in bringing vital help and hope to those in need.

And it provides an opportunity to underscore our strong partnerships with Catholic Charities affiliated agencies. Seven of these 18 Catholic Charities profiles feature services received at Catholic Charities affiliated agencies. They include Catholic Big Sisters Big Brothers, Covenant House New York, CREATE, Dominican Sisters, Elinor Martin Residence for Mother and Child and Grace Institute.

The 18 individuals and families profiled offer a glimpse of the intense struggles faced by so many New Yorkers. And they demonstrate the support Catholic Charities provides, always with compassion and always with dignity.

Day in and year out, Catholic Charities helps solve the problems of New Yorkers in need – non Catholics and Catholics alike.
We invite you to read their stories.

Borrowed Hearing Aid Opens New World to Teenager

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Vladimir Gongora, 17, thought he was the only person who could not hear.

He grew up in Cuyantepeque, El Salvador, an isolated farming village nestled between mountains, that had no health center and, until recently, no road access for cars.

For Vladimir, there was also no school: Because he could not hear or speak, teachers shut him out, his family said.  For years he lingered by the school doors at recess, waiting for other children to exit, waiting for playmates. He communicated only with his two sisters and grandparents, using hand signals they had invented.

But now, as a student at the Lexington School for the Deaf in Jackson Heights, Queens, he has made friends with classmates who are also hearing impaired and is learning sign language and to read and write.

“He wants to work,” said his father, Jose Gongora, who never went to school, “and later get a car.  He dreams a lot, right?”

 Read his story published in The New York Times

Watch a video of him on The New York Times website

Learn about crucial help he received from Catholic Charities.

Venezuelan Finds Asylum & Career in New York

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

It is very difficult for Maria Marquez, 33, to talk about her past. She can be specific about certain things, but not many. The danger just feels too real.

“I’m afraid,” Ms. Marquez said anxiously in her Elmhurst, Queens, apartment, an intensity in her eyes. “There have been kidnappings. People killed.”

A refugee from Venezuela, Ms. Marquez turned to Catholic Charities for help.
Read her story published on Sunday in The New York Times.

Young Widow Lives for Her Newborn & Toddler

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Simone McCray with her two children

By Alice Kenny

Hours after learning of the death of her children’s father, Simone McCray said, she called his cellphone, thinking he might answer.

Once reality sank in, the hard part came. Mr. Williams had left behind a son, Micah, then just 3 months old, and a daughter, Leyoura, who was 4 and who would need to be told of her father’s death.

“Word had gotten back to our pastor,” Ms. McCray recalled. “He asked if I wanted him to be there when I told her. I said yes. So he came when she got out of school and he more or less told her. I could not. …”

Read their story published in The New York Times and learn how Catholic Charities affiliate Grace Institute stepped in to help.

Working, Studying and Seeking a Home

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Latoya Ford

By Alice Kenny

Latoya Ford lived with seven foster families before finally being adopted at age 7.

Then, when Latoya turned 13, her adoptive mother, an older woman and “the only woman I ever called ‘mom’,” died of cardiac arrest .

After that, it seemed that no one really wanted her.

Fortunately, Latoya found her way to Covenant House, a shelter for teenagers and young adults affiliated with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York.  Finally housed, she also received counseling, support and studied to become a certified nursing assistant.  She recently found full-time work at Beth Israel Medical Center and is now rebuilding her life.

Click here  to read her story published in The New York Times.

Employed, but Trapped by Homelessness

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Aquiya and Renee Jackson with Caseworker Letticia Batista in the background

By Alice Kenny

Aquiya Jackson is a college-bound high school senior. Her mother, Renee Jackson works as a sales clerk at H & M clothing store.

Together, they represent the new face of homelessness; families with working parents unable to earn incomes high enough to pay New York City rents.

Click here to read their story published in The New York Times and learn about important intervention they received from Catholic Charities.

A Widow Struggles to Pick Up the Pieces

Monday, November 26th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Beaulah Smith sat on a hospital bed beside Isaac, her husband of 40 years, as a team of doctors explained the grim state of his health.

Terminal colon cancer. Inoperable.

Mr. Smith died three weeks later, on Feb. 2, 2012.

While grieving, Ms. Smith simultaneously fought her own life-and-death battle with ovarian cancer.  The two contests broke her heart and depleted her savings.

Click here to read her story published this past Sunday in The New York Times and learn about support and intervention that Catholic Charities provided.

Torture Survivor Rebuilds Life

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Ahamed Idrissou was imprisoned for five weeks in Togo, a military dictatorship in Africa.  He was beaten and humiliated; some of his teeth were pulled out.

With help from Catholic Charities, he gained asylee status in the United States and brought his family to safety.

Now, donning a sun-yellow City Sights jacket, he stands at Times Square street corners in the sun, rain and snow hawking tickets for tourist bus rides to feed his family.

Click here to read his story published in The New York Times and learn about crucial intervention he received from Catholic Charities.

 

Beaten, Blinded and Homeless, Young Man Rebuilds Life

Friday, November 16th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Carlos Castro does not remember the last thing he saw before losing consciousness on March 7, 2003. He collapsed onto a sidewalk in Flushing, Queens, after one of the five attackers he had been fleeing stabbed him in his chest, shoulder and stomach.

But the memory of what Mr. Castro, then 16, first glimpsed when his eyes opened next is indelible. “It was black,” he said. “I had no sight.”

Click here to read about his struggle to recover his sight and care for his elderly mother and the crucial help he received from Catholic Charities Guild for the Blind.