Over the next week, the Tallahassee Democrat is partnering with Catholic Charities on the Christmas Connection to spotlight local families who need help this Christmas. Here's how you can help.
CASE #106: Multiple medical issues
This family is headed by a single father with multiple chronic medical issues who has two daughters. The father’s mother died from cancer/COVID and the father has no assistance raising his daughters. His daughters are growing rapidly and he is unable to maintain the home and purchase other items. All income is used to provide food, shelter, and utilities. He finds it difficult to buy gas to get to his appointments and transport his daughters.
Critical items: Toiletries, cleaning supplies, king blanket, two queen blankets
Father, Age 44: Pots and pans, dishes, gas card, gift card
Daughter, Age 12: Music toys/instruments, guitar, CD/MP3 player; underwear size 14 pants
Daughter, Age 8: Arts and crafts supplies, board games, anything with art, pant size 10
CASE #114: Family of 4
This family of four consists of a grandmother, mother and two grandchildren. The grandmother, who is the primary caretaker, was injured in a car accident and is unable to work as a result. The mother is unable to work due to COVID. Without their income, funds are very tight.
CRITICAL ITEMS: Food and toiletries. cleaning supplies, two full blankets and two king blankets
Grandmother, Age 60: Shower curtain, crockpot, TV, tablet
Mother, Age 40: Shower curtain, tablet
Grandson, Age 13: Tablet, earbuds/headphones, athletic shoes (size 11 Air Jordans)
Granddaughter, Age 9: Baby Alive doll, tablet, headphones, Nike shoes size 7
CASE #119: 64-year-old woman
This 64-year-old woman lives alone. She previously had a stroke and has limited strength in her hands. Her income is very limited and groceries are difficult to purchase due to prices and no grocery store in her town (Greenville). In her older home, she needs propane for heat.
Critical items: food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies; king blanket
Client, Age 64: Chevron Gas card, queen sheets in dark colors
CASE #138: Domestic violence situation
This mother and her two sons recently left a domestic violence environment. Due to this turmoil, she is struggling to find housing and currently lives with family members. The mother just started a new job but income is still limited. The older son has a cleft palate and has undergone three surgeries and can only consume liquids. In addition, this son has been recently diagnosed with multiple mental health and developmental issues.
Critical items: Kitchen appliances, flatware, toiletries and cleaning supplies
Son, Age 8: Arts and crafts supplies, learning toy, Pokemon toys/games, baseball/nerf games
Son, Age 5: Remote control toy, toy cars, Paw Patrol, hot wheels
Mom, Age Unknown: Kitchen appliances, flatware
CASE #177: Widowed mother of 3
This mother of three children was left single when her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident. She is employed but income is still tight because her hours were cut due to COVID. The mother also helps care for her grandchild because the child’s father was killed in a car accident.
Critical items: None listed.
Mother, Age 40: Pots and pans, DVD player
Daughter, Age 13: Earbuds/headphones, nail polish
Daughter, Age 4: Bike and helmet, baby doll
Grandson, Age 2: Toddler/preschool toys, musical toys/instruments
How to help
Donate in person: Drop off items at the Christmas Connection warehouse at 2990-2 Apalachee Parkway, next to the Supervisor of Elections office. The warehouse is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. Days of operation are Nov. 20-23 and Nov. 28 to Dec. 20. Deadline for donated items is Dec. 15. Donations can also be dropped off at Morningstar Storage, 5600 Roanoke Trail, Tallahassee. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Wish List: Shop early and shop easy with the Christmas Connection Amazon wish list. You can view the wish list at the website TheChristmasConnection.org.
Blanket Day: Drop off new blankets and heaters from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 5, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Apalachee Parkway location. A volunteer will help you unload your car.
Donate online or by mail: Make a monetary donation online at TheChristmasConnection.org or send a check to Christmas Connection, P.O. Box 20165, Tallahassee, FL 32316.
Adopt a family: Complete a brief request form on the website and a family in need will be assigned to you by the volunteer adoption coordinator. All families are referred to us from social service organizations in the Big Bend area.
Host a Christmas Connection collection drive or holiday party: Gather people from your office, school, church, sports team, family or friends and host a party or collection drive to benefit neighbors in need. Sign up on the website and then collect gift items, gift cards and/or monetary donations, which can be brought to the collection site.
Volunteer: You can sign up on the website to donate your time and talents. Due to COVID, there is a limit on how many people can volunteer at one time.
Most needed items this year: Bikes, gift cards, blankets, towels, teenage gifts, heaters (electric/space), housewares, diapers and nonperishable foods. All donations must be new.
This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Christmas Connection cases 2021, Day 2: Help a single dad, widowed mom