Last month, we told you about Ernest Kimble, 53, who had lived for decades in a motel and was able to move into an apartment days before Christmas. His agency, Community Action Inc. of Central Texas planned on using Season for Caring funds for the rent, but readers came through. One reader pledged three months of rent and now another reader gave a check for the remaining nine months of rent for this year.
More readers have reached out to make sure Kimble has what he needs. On Wednesday, Kimble, who walks to work at Burger King every day and walks home at night, was treated to shoe shopping at Karavel Shoes by reader Kerry Price to make sure Kimble has a new, comfortable pair of shoes in the right size.
Since the Statesman launched its 20th Season for Caring on Nov. 25, readers have given $688,217 in monetary donations and $220,182 in in-kind donations of goods and services. The total — $908,399 — makes this Season for Caring the second best since it began in 1999.
The community still can give. Donations will be accepted through Jan. 31, either online at statesman.com/seasonforcaring or by sending checks made out to Statesman Season for Caring to Austin Community Foundation, c/o Statesman Season for Caring, 4315 Guadalupe St., Suite 300, Austin, TX 78751.
Donations go to help the featured families first, and then the local nonprofit partner agencies are able to help hundreds of other families with basic needs throughout the year. Season for Caring has given more than $12.5 million to our community.
Ernest Kimble has had many of his needs met. He could use grocery store gift cards, now that he has a kitchen to cook meals in. He also need towels and bathroom supplies. Community Action Inc. of Central Texas, 512-392-1161, communityaction.com
We also told you about Jennifer Tate, 47, and her son, Brennan, 7, who were able to leave the recreational vehicle where they were living and move into a house. At first their house was empty, but this month, the Assistance League of the Georgetown Area came through and donated many of the household items including furniture the Tates needed to make the house a home. Now they just need a washer and dryer, and refrigerator as well as a lawnmower and hedge trimmers to keep the yard tidy. They also need car repairs and new tires, and after-school and summer programs for Brennan. (The SAFE Alliance; 512-267-7233; safeaustin.org)
The Tates are not the only ones in need of car repairs. Recently Diana Castro's car stopped working and had to be towed away to be assessed. Castro and her family are deaf and her 9-year-old son Marc has leukemia. Because of the car's unreliability, Castro lost one of the three jobs she had had to make ends meet as the provider for her family. Her agency, Any Baby Can is weighing whether the car will repairable or she will need a new gently used car. They still need help with medical bills, rent, a washer, a dryer, a couch, a computer and a printer. (AnyBabyCan, 512-454-3743, anybabycan.org)
Basil Seals is also facing a tough decision. After his wife, Emily, died from cancer in November, he can no longer afford the monthly payments on her car. He will need to turn it in as part of her estate, but will need a more affordable vehicle to drive. (CareBox Program, 512-296-2180, careboxprogram.org)