Introducing the Latest NY Times Neediest Cases Campaign

Posted on October 18, 2017 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Catholic Charities First Profile: A Father Figure Dies, & the Bills Pile Up

Jashua Valentín woke up to his mother’s anguished cries. She usually helped him navigate his one-hour trip to elementary school in the Bronx, but on this day she sent Jashua, then 9, alone. The man who had been like a father to him was lying next to her, not moving.

Jashua’s mother, Herodidta Valentín Martínez, remembers that April morning in 2016 well. It was her partner’s first in a series of strokes that took away a little more of him each time.


This is how Catholic Charities 2017-2018 New York Times Neediest Cases Fund campaign kickoff story - that ran in newspapers today - begins.  When Jashua’s stepfather, the family’s primary breadwinner, died, Jashua and his mom suddenly grappled not only with profound sorrow but poverty and homelessness as well. 

(Then) one day, waiting for Jashua outside school and overwhelmed by loss, Ms. Valentín broke down in tears. Jashua’s teacher saw her crying and referred her to Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York, one of eight organizations supported by The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund.

Ms. Valentín came to Catholic Charities with her eviction notice in March, and the organization’s HomeBase staff represented her in housing court. That month, the Human Resources Administration forgave $3,205.60 of the debt, and Catholic Charities covered the remainder, allowing Ms. Valentín to keep the apartment. We then used $325 from the Neediest Cases Fund this summer to buy a single bed for Jashua (who, until then, had to sleep with his mom after his own bed broke.)

Jashua’s story marks the 2017-2018 Campaign beginning of Catholic Charities’ nearly century-long partnership with The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund campaign. 

We are honored to share these profiles of courage and resilience, characteristics of so many we are priviledged to serve at Catholic Charities. 

Catholic Charities is responding to the needs of our neighbors during the 
COVID-19 pandemic.

For Help Call 888-744-7900