CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Barbara is a loving mother and grandmother, but like many others, she finds herself in dire financial straits.Barbara cares not only for herself (she is HIV-positive and has several other health issues), but also she also cares for her daughter and two granddaughters.While her love for the three of them is strong, Barbara's daughter's drug habit often results in requests to stay at Barbara's home.During an extended hospital stay, Barbara let the three stay in her Southern West Virginia home in exchange for paying the utilities. Little did Barbara know when she would return home after three months, her daughter and granddaughters would be gone, the house emptied and the electricity shut off, leaving her without the ability to use her oxygen supply.That's when Covenant House stepped in. The Charleston-area service organization was founded in 1981 to help people with their basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter.
Barbara's case is no different.Covenant House was able to pay a portion of her electric bill, as well as connect her with other agencies that helped pay the balance. The organization, which has served those in need for more than 30 years, also helped Barbara set up "medical necessity approval" through the power company. That way, her electricity won't be cut off in the future, adversely affecting her health.Covenant House is one of the organizations that benefits from the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.With your contribution to the Gazette Charities Fund, organizations like Covenant House can continue to make a difference in Barbara's life, as well as others in need.The Gazette covers the administrative costs of the fund, so every penny donated goes to agencies and people who need help. All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible. To donate, look for the donation coupon in today's paper or visit wvgazette.com and click the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo to give online.