Originally created 12/02/05

Empty Stocking Fund: Illnesses drain family's funds



An Augusta woman struggling to support her sick husband and 7-year-old daughter has fallen behind on household bills and can't give her child a nice Christmas without help.

Last year, the woman, 44, was diagnosed with a tumor. Treatment including three blood transfusions left her unable to work. Her husband receives Social Security and disability payments because of a kidney transplant, but they are not enough to pay all the family's expenses.

Two days before the woman was scheduled for surgery, her husband suffered a massive heart attack. With her husband in intensive care, she could not go through with the operation, she said.

Just as she was looking for a new job, the family's van broke down. There is not enough money to fix it, and if she does not find a job soon, the bank will foreclose on their house, she said.

The family has exhausted all savings and has no relatives or friends who can help. Without assistance, she will not be able to give her daughter gifts during the holidays.

"Our daughter understands that we have no money, but she still believes that Santa Claus will come and may even bring some clothes and toys," she writes. "She is an honor student and never complains. Please help our daughter so she can have something for Christmas. We will be forever grateful."

This woman will receive help thanks to The Augusta Chronicle's Empty Stocking Fund. Contributions can be sent to Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. To donate online, go to www.augustachronicle.com/emptystocking.