Posts Tagged ‘The New York Times Neediest Cases’

Fighting to Keep the Life She Built

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

By Alice Kenny

Seven years old when her family moved her from Mexico to Yonkers, Beatriz Rivera, now 31, does all she can to achieve the American dream.

At age 14, she began her career at the bottom rung as a bagger at a local grocery chain store.  Quickly she was promoted to cashier, then supervisor, then customer service rep, then junior accounting clerk.  Ultimately she worked as the manager’s executive assistant.

However, the work permit she received at age 17 expired years ago.  So, while she has a valid social security number and driver’s license, she also counts herself among the “Dreamers” who live both openly and in the shadows of American society.

This impacts her life in small and large ways.  For example, although she has been paying state, local and social security taxes for more than a decade, she would be ineligible to receive social security benefits.

Fortunately, Catholic Charities attorneys are helping her obtain a two-year, renewable work permit by filling out a Deferred Action Plan for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application.

Now, while working full time, she is also pursuing her associate’s degree to become a registered nurse.

Read her full story in The New York Times.

Happy Endings in Time for the Holidays

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Marilynn K. Yee/The New York TimesBy Alice Kenny

Tragedy morphed into a happy ending thanks to Catholic Charities’ intervention,  The New York Times Neediest Cases campaign and support from readers like you.

Last year, The Times shared the profile of Carlos Castro.  As a teenager, he had been stabbed multiple times by thugs who tried to rob him and his friends on a street in Queens.  The lack of oxygen to his brain, a result of his severe blood loss, rendered him blind.

Yet he managed to find some work as a Spanish/English translator.

When the Times published the article about Mr. Castro last year, he and his mother, Ana, had recently escaped living in a miserable room in the city’s shelter system.

Now, thanks to Mr. Castro’s persistence finding new translating jobs,  readers’ generosity and Catholic Charities’ intervention, Mr. Castro and his mother celebrated Christmas in their new, spacious apartment in Queens.

Read Carlos Castro’s story here.

A Blind Man Sees. A Deaf Man Hears.

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

A blind man – Iking Little – can now see thanks to services Catholic Charities staff maximized by drawing on publicity from The New York Times Neediest Cases campaign.

A deaf man – Vladimir Gongora – can now hear.

Learn more about how Catholic Charities partnered with the New York Times Neediest Cases campaign to transform lives in
this final story that concludes the campaign season.

Bringing Folks Opportunities They Never Knew Possible. Catholic Charities and The NYTimes Neediest Cases Campaign Transform Lives

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

In this end-of-season interview, The New York Times spotlights Stephanie Harrill, Social Worker at Catholic Charities Guild for the Blind, whose extraordinary work has helped transform lives.

“People hear the word charity and they think of a hand out,” she says. “Our services are a hand up.”

By combining the myriad of services Catholic Charities offers with  publicity The New York Times Neediest Cases campaign provides, Ms. Harrill helps blind, homeless, unemployed and often spiritually defeated men and women find work, housing and meaning in their lives.

“I think The New York Times Neediest Cases campaign is fantastic,” Ms Harrill adds.  “For particular clients it can bring opportunities to them that they never knew possible.”

Click here  to listen to her three-part online audio interview with The New York Times