With the holiday season coming to a crescendo, the spirit of giving is in full swing.
Here in Greater Cincinnati, that means the annual United Way/Cincinnati Enquirer Wish List campaign is underway. This is the 30th year of the partnership, which began in 1986.
The Enquirer is publishing a series of powerful stories inviting readers to help make a holiday wish a reality for local families in need. Last year's Wish List raised more than $169,000 to meet the wishes of 12 local families. The year's goal is $175,000 to meet needs such as those listed below.
You can donate to the Wish List and help families and children in need this holiday season. Thank you.
Kylee, the 17-year-old mother to four-month-old twin daughters who's balancing taking care of her daughters while attending adult education classes. Kylee is wishing for a double stroller, bedroom furniture, clothes and toys for the girls, a laptop and scrubs for school, amongst other necessary items.
The Peeno family in Northern Kentucky just wants to stay warm. Parents of three Melissa and Charro lost their jobs due to downsizing this year. Both are currently enrolled in job replacement and training services through Brighton Center. The furnace in their house went out two years ago, and funds to replace it have been scarce. The parents say getting a new furnace would equal a Christmas miracle for the family.
10-year old Calli has been described as a “whiz-bang Brailler” winning regional Braille Challenges for three years and competing in the National Braille competition at age eight. Her vision loss clearly doesn’t hold her back, however, a Braille note taker would help her achieve even greater academically.
“To the moon!” eight-year-old Gage shouts to his father while swinging on a homemade tree swing. Movement and sensory stimulation helps Gage, who is autistic, focus and feel comfortable. He's used the swing so much over the last months that bark has fallen off the tree where he kicks his feet. His wish is for an indoor swing, mini trampoline, tunnels and other indoor sensory equipment for use during the cold months ahead.
The Mundy family is rebuilding their home after losing almost everything in a devastating fire. For six months the family lived together in one room. Dad Kenneth works seven days a week and has goes without to ensure that his kids have enough food.
Ebony Brown and her children are currently living at the Welcome House shelter in Covington. Ebony starts a new job next month, but needs new clothes and school supplies for her kids, and furniture for the new home they hope to have soon.
Aleshia Carver is going to school and working two jobs to focus on making a better life for her three children. She's on a tight budget, and even tighter is her time. Along with toys and clothes, her children need beds and their home needs a hot water heater.
Rasheim has Cerebral Palsy which prevents him from walking or talking. He wants to be able to play and have fun with his friends, like every other kid. His mother wishes for specialized equipment to allow him to play and interact with other kids.
Donna Blanchet is nearly five years free of drugs, and wants to provide the best opportunities for her four-year-old son Logan. Logan could use additional professional help with his hearing and speech issues, and Donna needs to pay her college debt in order to get a better-paying job.
Akira wants to be ready and on top of her game when she starts high school next year. But first, she has to get through the eighth grade. She and her grandparents, who are raising Akira, are hoping to provide her with a private, in-home tutor.
Your Wish List gift will help make the holidays -- and the months beyond, a little brighter for these families. Follow the Wish List stories in the print Enquirer and online at Cincinnati.com. Stories will run through Christmas.