This week, we’ve been working on the grant application for the Catherine Kennedy Foundation, a charity that helps non-profit organizations involved in providing services to improve the general health and welfare of the elderly. We have been recipients of this grant for many years. Every time we identify a candidate, we keep a record of why we chose to disburse grant money to our guest. As part of the application process, I’ve been sitting here reviewing the stories from the last year.
The grant allowed me to assist 106 seniors with sorely needed funds. The bulk of the funds paid for utility bills and the balance helped with housing costs. We helped people with deposits as they were setting up new living spaces, utility payments to prevent shutoffs or payments to have utilities turned back on, and rent payments when they had fallen behind and were in danger of eviction. Of the persons that were helped, 70 were in their sixties; 36 were seventy and older.
A large number of guests were in need of help with their bills because their funds went to cover medical expenses for strokes, heart attacks, amputations, cancer and respiratory problems. Several people were victims of crimes – a relative using their debit card, a scam that enticed them to apply for a phony loan, a robbery as a woman was walking down the street, a man that was shot at; one man allowed someone to stay with him for shelter during bad weather and the person walked off with his money. Seniors are so vulnerable to crimes, even from their own families.
This past winter was especially hard on their utility bills and they just fell behind with their payments. It is not unusual for me to see them come in with bills that are several hundreds of dollars; quite often they have had their water turned off and live without it for months.
Every month, I see more and more grandparents that are taking care of their grandchildren due to having parents that have died, been incarcerated or are just unfit. The children are very fortunate to have grandparents to tend to them. Several guests had been recently widowed; in addition to losing a loved one, they were left with expenses they could not handle.
Quite often when I present them with a check to help ease their burdens, they reach out with a hug and a tear in their eye. I can see a change in their body language that tells me their stress level is reduced.
Blessings to the Catherine Kennedy Foundation, and to all of our loyal donors that allow us to continue our work with those in need.
Special Need of the Week – As the weather is warming up, we’ll start having requests for fans.
Thanks for your Share Sunday donations last week!