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Thanks to You, Ashley Has a Home!Posted by Deirdre Gelinne on 10/24/2013
When I asked Ashley what she liked best about the beautiful new house she had recently moved into, she said, “It’s a real home.” A simple, but powerful statement. How many of us stop to appreciate our homes on a regular basis? Whether it’s large or small, old or new, each of us has a home where we can truly relax and be comfortable.
Not everyone can say this, especially people with disabilities, who are often housed in institutional buildings. But thanks to the work of our agency partner, Community Access Unlimited, more people like Ashley are living in real homes. Not only is this a wonderful change for them, it’s a good thing for our community as well.
CAU buys rundown houses, and either replaces them or rehabs them to suit the needs of “differently abled” people. The community’s housing stock is improved, and disabled citizens become regular neighbors. Within their homes, they receive compassionate support from an attentive staff of caregivers.
You make this possible! With your support, Ashley and others like her are able to live with privacy and dignity, as full and independent citizens of our community.
When you give to the Westfield United Fund, you change lives …
for the better.
YOU Are Part of Sarah's Story ...Posted by Deirdre Gelinne on 05/31/2013
… because You support the Westfield United Fund.
Sarah is one of the students enrolled in the Westfield United Fund’s After School Tutoring program, which provides homework help for children in need. Before the program began three years ago, Sarah struggled with her homework, and her grandmother, Carrie, who is her guardian, wasn’t always sure how to help her.
Carrie says, “You cannot imagine how much it helped Sarah out with her class work, getting her homework in on time, correctly and finished, and having a teacher to help her out with any questions. Me, being a grandma and out of school for many years, was many times of no help to her and just confused her more, especially where the math problems came in. This program was ‘God Sent’ for Sarah and me.”
“The After School Tutoring program, a/k/a the Homework Club, has afforded students like Sarah the homework support they can’t get at home. Before we had this valuable program, these students experienced frustration, failure and ultimately apathy, that led to a decline in their overall academic performance. The Homework Club provides them with a supportive, caring environment that encourages them to take pride in their work, forge close relationships with teachers, and increases the likelihood of their academic success,” says Sarah’s principal.
Here’s how it works: The principals identify the students in their schools who are “at risk” academically, and whose families cannot afford to hire tutors to help them. The children meet with a teacher for an hour after school several days a week, in groups of 6-10 students. The program is offered at each of the six elementary schools, so it’s convenient for the students and their families, and staffed by teachers from those schools, who are familiar with the curriculum and can communicate easily with the students’ homeroom teachers. It’s a “Win-Win” for everyone involved, and your support makes it possible.
Thank you for enabling us to provide this program for Sarah and others like her. Together, we’re making a difference!
Mobile Meals Helps Grateful Seniors Stay in Their Homes.Posted by Deirdre Gelinne on 04/05/2013
There’s No Place Like Home …
At the end of one of my favorite movies, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy clicks her heels three times and says, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home …”
That scene is so powerful because we all feel that way … there really is no place where we can be as comfortable and secure as we are in our own homes.
That’s why Jeannette and so many other seniors want to stay and “age in place”
rather than leave their homes. Unfortunately, they face many obstacles which make it difficult for them to achieve this goal. Cooking meals can present a major challenge, particularly for a senior living alone. Mobile Meals, one of our member agencies, helps seniors stay in their homes by delivering home-cooked, nutritious meals five days a week.
Most of the cooking and all of the deliveries are done by volunteers – members of our community who take the time to lend a helping hand to neighbors who need assistance. If you have some time to give, please call 908-233-6146 to volunteer. You can also support Mobile Meals by donating to the Westfield United Fund, and help seniors like Jeannette stay in their homes.
Together We Make a Difference!