For many families in our region, the holiday season can be a harsh reminder of the difficulties they face. It’s hard to think about what gifts you’re going to buy for your kids when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from or how you’re going to pay your rent. For nearly 100 years, the 100 Neediest Cases program has been helping children, families and seniors throughout the St. Louis region during the holiday season.

 

And, while the program has an incredible impact for families in need, it also brings people together through community and generosity. One such neighbor is Joanne, a local woman who has been supporting 100 Neediest Cases for a decade. This year, Joann adopted a local family who was struggling due to the impacts of COVID. Through her generosity and support, the family, which includes five young children, avoided eviction and will celebrate the holidays in their own home.

 

For Joanne, contributing to 100 Neediest Cases is a great way to give hope to a local family in need.

 

 

How did you learn about and get connected with 100 Neediest Cases?

Joanne: Very early in my career, probably 25 years ago, I worked for Famous Bar and every single year, every department would adopt a family. It was their holiday tradition and that introduced me to the concept. Our company was also very supportive of United Way.

 

 

How often have you supported 100 Neediest Cases since learning about it?

Joanne: We’ve participated in this off and on for the past 10 years. I think that we have adopted a family through this program at least five times.

 

 

How important has 100 Neediest Cases and helping those in need been to you and your family?

Joanne: We routinely try to teach our children the importance of giving back and being supportive of charitable organizations like this. We have adopted many families through the years, and this year my family and I decided that we wanted to give through this program again. Largely because this is a really nice program, and you can make a direct and immediate impact.

 

 

Can you describe the satisfaction you felt from preventing a family from potentially losing their home?

Joanne: I really want to be a model for my children and my family to show them how to be more aware of people that are in need and help out when you can. I can’t imagine someone having to be evicted and experience homelessness, so I was very happy to help.

 

 

What would you say to someone who is not sure of whether they should contribute to 100 Neediest Cases?

Joanne: I was always raised on the principle that it is better to give than to receive, and I have found that to be very true. If you’re looking to really help spread good and joy in the world, you need to think outside of your own personal needs.

This is a really great program. We all have many charities that we give to, but this is definitely one where you can make an immediate impact during a time of year that is really difficult for so many.

 

 

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Rodney Humphries

Rodney Humphries is the communications specialist at United Way of Greater St. Louis and a proud graduate of Webster University where he developed his passion for writing. In college, he combined his love for writing and sports, serving as the primary sports writer for his school newspaper while also developing his own sports blog. After graduating, he continued his love for writing as he served as a freelance writer for various publications. Rodney continues to be a fan of Webster athletics, you will often see him sitting court-side at a lot of their basketball games.