www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette-Mail Charities http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2015, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Gazette-Mail Charities: Family needs bathtub, home repairs http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151129/GZ01/151129497 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151129/GZ01/151129497 Sun, 29 Nov 2015 19:22:36 -0500 The only way to access their home is by trudging through a muddy creek.

But for this family of eight, the two-bedroom house they built nearly 20 years ago has become the root of their perpetual struggles.

The family is miles away from the nearest gas station or store, and with no shower or laundry facilities, they must walk to a nearby relative's house to bathe or wash their clothes. The two teenage boys living at home are often bullied in school because they can't bathe regularly. Their clothes often smell due to a kerosene heater in the home, adding to their ridicule, the family's caseworker said.

"The smell of it is very strong," the caseworker said. "The school tries to address it, [but] I don't know if there's a whole lot they can do."

At 40 years old, the mother stays home and often takes care of their one and two-year-old grandchildren, while the 44-year-old father works at a concrete plant and is usually laid off during the winter months. "The husband does the construction on the home, [but] only when they have the money and he has the time," the caseworker said.

After a heavy snowfall in February, pipes burst beneath the house, causing its floor to buckle and warp. What was once a laminate wood surface is now a mix of wood, dirt and concrete. "I honestly don't know how they keep it warm with that little bit of heat," the caseworker said.

Entering the home is a challenge; the steps up to the porch are dry rotted and can't be used. The family doesn't have any containers to hold their garbage - which they would need to haul through the creek - so trash is often scattered around the yard, attracting mice and other rodents, the caseworker said. The family needs $900 for a washing machine, a bathtub and various repairs to their home. To help, please consider a gift to this year's Gazette-Mail Charities fund drive. Gazette-Mail charity cases have been verified by approved social service agencies. The Gazette-Mail absorbs the cost of administering the fund. Checks should be made payable to Charleston Gazette-Mail Charities. Your tax-deductible contribution can be mailed to:

Charleston Gazette-Mail

1001 Virginia St. E.

Charleston, WV 25301

Gazette-Mail Charities: Mountain Mission provides help with utilities, food costs http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151126/GZ01/151129657 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151126/GZ01/151129657 Thu, 26 Nov 2015 12:39:41 -0500 The octogenarian - we'll call her Mrs. Jones - came into the Seventh Avenue office of the Mountain Mission. She needed help.

Her husband had suffered a stroke. The monthly Social Security checks that had gone toward the food and electricity bills instead went to cover his medicine.

Mountain Mission paid the power company, staving off termination of Mrs. Jones' service.

The folks there also gave her a generous amount of non-perishable food to help get them through the month.

While her visit to Mountain Mission was a lifesaver for Mrs. Jones and her husband, it was also a classic example of the type of work that the mission does.

But that work doesn't come without a cost. That's where Gazette-Mail Charities - and readers like you - can help out.

Mountain Mission is one of 10 local help agencies being supported by this year's seasonal charity drive.

Money donated from readers is presented to the agencies, which, in turn, use it to help Mrs. Jones and countless others like her.

Please consider a gift to this year's Gazette-Mail Charities fund drive.

The giving process is simple: Just fill out the donation coupon in today's paper and mail the coupon and your check to Gazette-Mail Charities.

Or, if you prefer to donate online, go to wvgazettemail.com and click on the Gazette-Mail Charities logo.

Gazette-Mail Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations made are tax deductible.

Gazette-Mail Charities: Grandmother of five needs help buying clothes http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151126/GZ01/151129685 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151126/GZ01/151129685 Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 She works as much overtime as possible to provide for her family, but this 63-year-old woman is still having trouble buying clothes for her ever-growing grandchildren.

Due to the incarceration of her daughter, this loving grandmother has had custody of her five grandchildren the last four months.

If that didn't make life harder, her husband recently died, making her the sole caretaker of her grandchildren.

"She does have close friends living nearby who help with day care and other things when she needs it," said the grandmother's caseworker. "She has a good support system, but she lives by herself."

While her friends have stepped in to help take care of her family, the grandmother is working overtime to make ends meet.

"She works at a nursing home, and she works at least 40 hours a week," the caseworker said.

Despite her age, the grandmother is lively and always wants to be busy, her caseworker added.

"She's always up doing something," he said. "She's not someone you'll catch taking a break."

The grandmother has struggled to keep her family together, but hopes she can be the one to put her grandchildren on the right track, the caseworker said.

"And she loves her grandchildren and wants to see them have a wonderful holiday season."

The grandmother needs $750 to buy clothes for two toddlers and three adolescent boys.

Gazette-Mail charity cases have been verified by approved social service agencies. Those who wish to give may fill out the donation coupon in today's paper and include a check made payable to Gazette-Mail Charities. To donate online, go to wvgazettemail.com/Charities.

Gazette-Mail Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization. Your tax-deductible contribution can be mailed to:

Charleston Gazette-Mail

1001 Virginia St. E.

Charleston, WV 25301

Gazette, Daily Mail charities combine for holiday fund drive http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151122/GZ01/151129927 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151122/GZ01/151129927 Sun, 22 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 For a half-century, Charleston Newspapers and its readers have been working to help the needy during the holiday season. In all, the Gazette and Daily Mail, through the generous assistance of their readers, have raised millions of dollars.

The Daily Mail's Neediest Cases Appeal is more than 50 years old and has raised more than $4 million for people in our area who needed a helping hand. The Gazette's Christmas Fund is 20 years old and has raised about $1 million for local charities in that time.

Now, just as the two newspapers have become one, the two fund drives will join forces under the umbrella of Gazette-Mail Charities.

Last year, the two funds together raised nearly $193,000 to meet the call for assistance from members of our community.

Can we reach or exceed that level again this year?

That will depend on readers like you, who have been so charitable in the past.

The Neediest Cases Appeal asks for help paying for needs that aren't usually met by existing social service agencies.

State and federal programs might assist people by providing shelter, food and other basic necessities, as well as basic health care.

But there are gaps.

Household items, appliances and home repair fall outside the scope of these programs. Medicare and Medicaid fill some health care needs, but not all. A program that covers dental extractions does not pay for dentures. Some medications might be covered; others might not.

The Neediest Cases Appeal was designed to step in and fill these gaps. The charity partners with regional social service agencies, which submit cases with needs to be filled.

The Christmas Fund supports several local help agencies in our area, which, in turn, use your donations to help those in need.

The agencies supported by the fund this season include: Union Mission Ministries; Manna Meal; Covenant House; Daymark; the Children's Home Society of West Virginia; Mountain Mission; the Gabriel Project of West Virginia; Heart and Hand; the Jericho House; and The Salvation Army.

During the next month, the Gazette-Mail will feature alternating stories in the format of the Neediest Cases and the Christmas Fund. These stories will illustrate the hard times that often befall good people and how the charitable agencies in the Charleston area are there to help.

Please consider giving to this new combined effort so that we may have an even greater impact in helping out this holiday season.

No gift is too small. But please don't delay. The countdown to Christmas is on.

To give, look for the donation coupon in today's newspaper or go to wvgazettemail.com and click on the Gazette-Mail Charities logo, to give online.