Need comes in many forms, none of them good.
The afflicted are people like Milagros Pineda, an East Harlem woman in her 70s who contends with the painful side effects of treatment for ovarian cancer. Severe foot pain made walking torturous, and numbness in her hands turned buttoning a shirt or holding a glass into an ordeal. But with help from the Community Service Society of New York, Ms. Pineda was able to buy, among other necessities, a recliner to keep her feet elevated — a purchase that would have otherwise been unaffordable.
The afflicted include those like Holly Gambal, a Brooklyn woman in her 40s who came to be homeless after suffering a stroke three years ago. With a helping hand from Brooklyn Community Services, Ms. Gambal found a place to live while she received speech, physical and occupational therapy. She even got a laptop to help her gain computer skills to rebuild a working life.
Then there are couples like Vadzim and Aksana Khudziayeu, green card holders in their 40s who emigrated a year and a half ago from Belarus. Mr. Khudziayeu is battling pancreatic cancer and is unable to hold a job, while Mrs. Khudziayeu struggles to put food on the table and buy winter clothing with what she earns working the cash register in a Brooklyn grocery. They got help paying the rent and their cellphone bill from the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, an agency that’s a beneficiary of UJA-Federation of New York.
The quorum of pain in the city is obviously much larger than these few cases. What they all have in common is reliance on assistance from The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund. Grants from the fund helped the Khudziayeus, Ms. Gambal, Ms. Pineda and many others.
In all, eight organizations receive fund donations. In addition to those already mentioned, they are Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, Children’s Aid, FPWA (formerly the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies) and the International Rescue Committee. To help, please make checks payable to The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund and send them to P.O. Box 5193, New York, N.Y. 10087. Donations may also be made with a credit card at (800) 381-0075 or online at nytimes.com/neediest.
Just as there are many forms of need, there are many ways to give. It is always the right season to show kindness.