Longing for Stability After a Childhood Spent in Hospitals

01/22/2020  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

A genetic disorder has dominated large portions of Silas Waller’s life. Getting to college at first required a wheelchair and two buses, but he was determined to get on a path to financial security.

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Taekwondo Gave 2 Children an Outlet. It Gave Their Mother a Break.

01/22/2020  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Frances Ramirez was juggling three jobs with her responsibilities as a single parent when she got help paying for her children’s lessons.

Photo by Sasha Maslov, The New York Times

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The New York Times Neediest Cases Reporters Help Raise Millions

01/16/2020  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Elisha Brown, right, and Sara Aridi were the lead writers for The Neediest Cases Fund this year. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of NY was one of the 7 participating agencies. Photo by Katie Van Syckle, The New York Times

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From Homelessness to a Life of Giving Back

01/09/2020  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Photo by Michelle V. Agins, The New York TImes 

By Sara Aridi 

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Seeing More Than ‘Just Another Missing Teenager From the Bronx’

01/07/2018  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

When Desiree Santana’s 14-year-old daughter went missing in September, she felt frantic.

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‘I Was Not Going to Accept It’: After Captivity, Blind Syrian Forges Path to U.S. - New York Times Neediest Cases

12/23/2017  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Hope often came in subtle waves of clarity for Amier Agha. He would recall his younger brother’s new, prosperous life in San Francisco, which invariably made him think of images he had seen of sprawling metropolises and the New York City skyline. The thoughts filled him with warmth and wonder.

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A Way to Help Refugees From Puerto Rico - New York Times

12/17/2017  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Like millions of others in Puerto Rico, Enid Rosa had her normal life washed away in September by Hurricane Maria.

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In Harlem, a Shelter That Gives Young Men the Tools to Succeed - New York Times

12/14/2017  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Nestled on a residential block in Harlem, Create Young Adult Residences looks like any other apartment building. A fire escape snakes up its rust-colored facade.

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On Her Own, Raising Twin ‘Princesses’ With Special Needs - New York Times

11/28/2017  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Ingrid Batista scooped up her 4-year-old daughter Alexia. “Hola, mi reina,” she said, covering her with kisses.

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From Serving the Famous at the Waldorf to Starting Over - New York Times Neediest Cases

11/02/2017  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

At the Waldorf Astoria, she caught glimpses of Donald J. Trump, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

That’s to name just a few of the politicians Regina Gatewood spotted in her 16 years as a banquet waitress at the Waldorf, on Park Avenue in Manhattan.

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For a Grieving Teenager, Much-Needed Companionship (on 2 and 4 Legs) - New York Times

10/31/2017  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Providencia Vanderpool was reminiscing with her youngest son about his father when suddenly the boy’s words alarmed her.

Her son, Noel, asked if she was starting to forget her husband, who died in 2014.

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A Father Figure Dies, and the Bills Pile Up - New York Times

10/17/2017  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

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.

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A Dream That Survived Life in a War Zone and Life on the Streets - New York Times

12/25/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Idi Diallo started playing soccer when he was 5, living in a small Ivory Coast village, kicking a ball on his family farm through two rocks that served as the goal. Even as he played, he could see troops fighting in the distance and hear gunfire ringing out in the civil wars that raged through his childhood.

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Brothers Holding Up Each Other, in the Wake of a Crushing Loss - New York Times

12/24/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

The brothers enjoy their endless little debates. They could be over something of importance, but then again, maybe not. Just the other week, they got at it over how many Batman movies there had been. Why, obviously there had been four, according to Andre Steinberg. What is wrong with you, there were seven, Jamal Perry insisted.

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Raising 2 Young Children by Herself, in a Space That Feels Not Big Enough

12/01/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

In her cramped apartment in Upper Manhattan, Paola Infante cooked chicken and rice on a gas stove, stirring the meal as she kept an eye on her daughter, Geraliz, racing around the room. Each time the girl came near the flames and kitchen knives, Ms. Infante used her body to gently push her away.

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The Glorious Achievement of Zipping Up a Sweatshirt - New York Times

11/25/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Jose Alvarez has trouble sleeping. It is the pain from his back injury. It is the stress of paying the bills. It is the worry that his daughter will never live a normal life.

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Stepping Out on Faith, a Blind Man Counts His Blessings - New York Times

11/22/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

His routine is the same every day.

Before going outside, Leroy Bracey recites Psalms 121, a daily reassurance that God is ever-present, protecting him wherever he goes.

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Raising 5 Sons Alone, 3 With Autism, Takes a Toll on a Mother’s Body - New York Times

11/21/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Though Melissa Ferrer moved into her new home in July, she has refused to paint her sons’ bedroom walls blue. She does not dare get too comfortable, a symptom of her years of homelessness.

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A Car Accident Throws a Productive Life Into Turmoil - New York Times

11/16/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Fresh from a promising meeting with a real estate agent, David Nublett was on his way to treat himself to a new pair of shoes when he started to walk across Westchester Avenue in the Bronx.

That is the last thing he remembers.

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Strangers Extend a Helping Hand to Struggling New Yorkers - New York Times

02/28/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

For Margaret Macaluso, driving her sons to and from their college classes and part-time jobs requires patience and compromise. The family has only one vehicle. Fortunately, she does not mind being a chauffeur. Ever since Ms.

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After 85 Years in East Harlem, a Routine That Keeps Her Going - The New York Times

02/09/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Most Tuesday mornings, Marta Benitez walks from her apartment on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 111th Street to the food pantry at St. Cecilia’s Church on East 105th Street. With other volunteers, she assembles bags of nonperishable items to be handed out to members of the community.

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A Family Emerges Even Closer From Times of Darkness - New York Times

01/13/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Over the course of 10 months in the Negron household, starting in spring 2014, darkness became routine.

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After Disaster and Breakup, a Mother Strives for an Education - The New York Times

01/12/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Marlin Hernandez sat at the front of her classes to better understand her teachers because English was not her native language. If she still struggled with words or concepts, she sought tutoring. No matter how exhausted she was, Ms. Hernandez remained dedicated to her studies.

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New Pressures, and Commitments, After Fire Takes Family’s Home - The New York Times

01/11/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Tajiauna Spence and three of her daughters ate dinner at a McDonald’s in Chelsea late last month. Her grandson, Styles, was the center of the group’s affections as he played with his gloves and made random demands.

“I want my toy,” he said.

“You got to eat your food first,” Ms. Spence said. “Then you get the toy.”

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Taking Control After a Tumultuous Childhood - The New York Times

01/10/2016  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Before she even knew what the word “advocate” meant, Jasmin Gonzalez was doing it for herself and her three sisters. All four were taken away from their drug-addicted parents and placed into foster care when Ms. Gonzalez was 3 years old. Memories of abuse by her first foster parents remain vivid.

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A Lively Little Girl Needs a Kidney Donor - The New York Times

12/30/2015  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

The day that Edgar Campos brought his wife and newborn girl home from the hospital was bittersweet.

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Harassed in Guinea, Homeless in New York and Happy to Be Together - New York Times

12/21/2015  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

When a friend of Mariama Koulibaley’s told her about a man who had just graduated from a university in their native Guinea though legally blind and deaf, she was intrigued.

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A Spirit Unbent Through Loss of Health and Home -The New York Times

12/20/2015  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

When Margaret Macaluso speaks of her illness and losses, her voice is unwavering. She is resolved in the face of what cannot be changed.

“I don’t get depressed,” Ms. Macaluso said. “I don’t think about what’s going to be, or what’s going to happen. I just do my best every day.”

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Battered and Blind, and Finding a Home in the Bronx- New York Times

12/11/2015  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

For Seana Cromitie, the surest sign of a new problem in a life full of them came in the place that had always been her sanctuary: the kitchen. There, in the Applebee’s restaurant in East Harlem where she worked, she would slice vegetables and miss, scarring her hands with small wound after small wound.

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Illness Shakes Mother Who Rebuilt Her Life - The New York Times

12/07/2015  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

For more than a month, Angélica Diaz refused to acknowledge the contents of a letter from her doctor. She kept it from her employer.

“I knew once I decided to give that letter, I’d have to stop working,” Ms. Diaz, 48, said. “I wouldn’t know how to feed my kids, and how to pay my rent or do anything else.”

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A Silent Daughter, Reunited With Her Father, Learns to Speak 3 Languages - New York Times

12/06/2015  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

The Neediest Cases

When Daysi Perdomo came to the United States at 7, she could barely speak, her delayed speech owing to a hearing impairment. More than two years later, she can communicate in three languages.

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Muslim Refugee and His Family Find a Haven in Harlem- New York Times

11/25/2015  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

The second time men went to Drissa Cisse’s home to look for him, he knew it was time to run.

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Sickened in Rubble After 9/11, a ‘Lost Soul’ Longs for Her Old Life - New York Times

11/23/2015  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Construction sites, ubiquitous in New York City, set off pangs of loss within Susan Bentley.

“I can’t walk out of the house without seeing a rig somewhere,” she said. “Sometimes I find myself lingering around job sites. Like a lost soul.”

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Fighting Evictions, a Single Mother Draws Strength From Her Children - New York Times

11/23/2015  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Gardenia Valerio’s two-bedroom apartment in the Soundview section of the Bronx, steps from the Bruckner Expressway, was welcoming and calm.

As soon as Ms. Valerio’s three children returned from finishing their homework after school at a nearby licensed day care center, a wave of energy washed over the apartment.

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Hope and a Laptop for College - New York Times

11/12/2015  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

Someday, Jada Williams hopes to become a veterinarian. “I’ve always loved animals,” she said. “They always seem to make me happy.” But the path toward attaining that goal has not been an easy one.

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Home Health Aide Becomes a Guardian and, He Hopes, a Father - New York Times

11/11/2015  |  New York Times Neediest Cases  |  Share

As Marco Muñoz speaks, recalling the past few years of his life, Jose Hernandez slips one of his shoes onto Mr. Muñoz’s hand. It is an odd yet effective gesture that signals to Mr. Muñoz that Jose wants to go for a walk.

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