Some families in the 2019 Statesman Season for Caring program need a lot of tangible things: washers and dryers, reliable cars, furniture, clothing and medical equipment, to name a few.
For many of the families, the gift of monetary donations will help them in even more ways.
For Monika Beakley, 47, they will help her set up a trust to take care of her son, 19-year-old Jesse Jakob Estala — who had a traumatic brain injury 10 years ago — if she dies. Beakley has stage 4 cancer that is now in her lungs, brain, liver and intestines. Estala is now blind and has developmental delays from that accident and is not able to live on his own.
For Nicole Overton, 34, donations will relieve some of the stress of having years of medical bills as she cares for her sons who have a blood disorder and a malformation that squeezes the brain.
For Kizzy Jackson, 38, her family will be able to get better footing in their new town after floods in Baton Rouge, La., took away job opportunities there. Her boys, who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism, need many things to ensure their success.
These are three moms of boys who need your help, but there are many others.
For hundreds of other families, who are served by the nonprofits that nominated the Season for Caring featured families this year, monetary donations will help them with basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation and medical supplies.
Season for Caring funds are distributed to the nonprofit organizations by the Austin Community Foundation. The organizations use them to help the featured families first but then are able to aid hundreds of other families throughout the year.
And for the fourth year in a row, Austin’s Sheth family is offering a matching gift of up to $100,000 for monetary donations given now through Dec. 14. Donations can be made either online at statesman.com/seasonforcaring or using the coupon printed daily in the paper.
"Season for Caring has become a cherished tradition for our family because it enables members of our community to help each other," the Sheth family wrote in an email last year. "That is how we forge stronger ties and more durable communities. The bonds between our family and our Austin neighbors are so important to us, and we love knowing that our donations go to families and individuals in need right here in our city."
The local philanthropists’ gift has helped increase Season for Caring donations the past three years. The program raised $840,780 in 2016, $1,086,086 in 2017 and $1,033,589 in 2018 — its best years since it began in 1999. It its first 20 years, Season for Caring has given $12.7 million to local nonprofit organizations.
"We look forward to helping the Statesman reach out to our community by once again offering a matching donation," the Sheth family wrote. "We believe that every member of the Austin family who can give should participate in this Season for Caring, and we hope that our contribution encourages others to do just that."
To find out more about the Beakley family, contact Wonders & Worries, 512-329-5757, wondersandworries.org; the Overton family, Any Baby Can, 512-454-3743, anybabycan.org; and the Jackson family, Communities in Schools, 512-462-1771, ciscentraltexas.org.