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November 18, 2011 > Adopt a Senior/Adopt a Family

Adopt a Senior/Adopt a Family

Submitted By Monica Dominguez

Each holiday season during the last 13 years, the Human Services Department has sought cash or gift card donations to bring joy to needy families and seniors being served at the Family Resource Center, Youth and Family Counseling Center, and Aging and Family Services. This year's uncertain economic times have created an even greater need to assist more families and elders than ever before.

Times are very stressful these days and we know families have emergency needs all year round, not just during the holidays. So in addition to our Adopt a Family/Senior solicitation the department has developed an "Urgent Need Fund," which allows our social workers, nurses and counselors resources they can draw upon to assist families and individuals in crisis throughout the year. Such funds allow us to put a homeless person into a hotel while we negotiate a space in a shelter, provide a grocery card to a family where the father has recently lost his job, or provide transportation vouchers to a mother and child who need to get to the hospital. We also have been able to help seniors keep their utilities on during the winter, and buy necessary medication or health care equipment such as a walker.

We hope you will not only consider supporting families, children and elders with a gift certificate (i.e. Target, Safeway, Food Maxx), check or cash donations, but will also help us continue to build our Urgent Need Fund, which Human Services social workers, nurses and counselors can access year round.

Patricia is a single mother putting herself through school fulltime to learn an employable trade after leaving a difficult relationship. She is supporting her three-year-old daughter and hoping to have a place of their own after working for a while and saving some money. Currently they are renting a room with a friend and feel grateful that this friend has been able to be of support. Patricia is using services at the Fremont Family Resource Center to get linked to resources. She is participating in financial counseling to get her credit history in shape and learn skills to maintain financial health. She has entered into a savings program to put a little money aside each month and is working with the local child care program for low-cost child care while she attends school. Patricia feels she is on the right path to getting her life back on track, but could use a Target gift card in order to make the holidays a little brighter for her little girl.

Sam is a senior who had a massive stroke in his late 50s and was in a coma for many years. His wife devoted herself to Sam and surprisingly he woke up from the coma. Eventually he was able to transfer from the convalescent hospital back home. His wife continues to devote herself to her husband's care, but this year another responsibility as a caregiver was added when her mother needed to move in with them since she suffers from severe dementia. They are doing their best to enjoy life, even though it can be stressful. Sam needs a lot of supplies and many are not covered by his insurance. They have little money by the end of the month after paying all their utility bills. Sam's wife can't go back to work due to her husband and mother needing total care at home. They would really appreciate any support from the community. The family could use a gift card to Food Maxx or Safeway to have a nice holiday meal this season.

Cindy is a single mother of two, and it has been a difficult year. Her husband recently died from cancer after battling the disease for many years, and she was recently laid off from her job, learning shortly afterwards that she suffers from a chronic disease which has made it more difficult for her to find work. Cindy and her children have been feeling anxious about finances, since there is uncertainty about whether she will have enough money to pay their rent (her unemployment is not enough to pay for the rent and utility bills). They have had to cut back severely on necessities such as clothing and school supplies, and there is no money for non-essential purchases. Cindy is hoping for help, since there's no money this year for a holiday dinner or gifts unless the family receives a helping hand from others in the community like you.

Whether it's a big or small donation, you can make a difference! Please make your check payable to the City of Fremont and deliver it to Monica Dominguez in Human Services. If your department would like to contribute a donation as a group, please give us a list of donors from your department and the amount each person contributed. Each contributor will receive a thank you letter for tax purposes. We will accept donations until Friday, December 9 for the Adopt a Family/Senior Program and donations for the Urgent Need Fund will be accepted all year round. For more information contact Monica Dominguez at (510) 574-2057. Thank you for your generosity!

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