Neediest Families Fund Drive: Disabled mom, kids rely on food stamps, teen's job
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Sunday, December 09, 2012
12/09/12 at 8:17 AM
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End-stage renal failure and other medical complications have left Cynthia Lewis unable to work, and while she waits to be approved for disability payments she's having trouble paying the bills.
Her family had to stay with her sister for about two weeks because the utilities were shut off at her home.
She relies on food stamps to feed her three children, Jaleesa Lewis, 16, Ezra Lewis, 15, and Jessica Lewis, 10.
Cynthia Lewis, who has been diabetic for more than 20 years, now goes to dialysis three times a week for four hours a session.
One of her medicines has left her with a chronic cough and she has trouble walking or standing for any length of time.
"I really miss the working but there's nothing I can do right now," she said.
She is trying to get disability payments but the paperwork is still being processed. She does receive monthly checks from her children's father's disability payment. She has health insurance through Medicaid.
The copays aren't exorbitant but she still has trouble affording them and sometimes can't get her medication.
To help provide an income, Jaleesa works at a fast-food restaurant.
Lewis said she laments that the money Jaleesa earns has to go directly to immediate family needs.
"I'd rather her be working to save for her future and things like that," she said.
Jaleesa has had to grow up quickly and take over tasks like cooking and cleaning, Lewis said.
She and the other children have had to make some cutbacks because of the tight financial situation, she said.
"We've had to make different sacrifices for our basic needs," she said.
Also, the dialysis has limited the amount of time Lewis can spend with her children, she said.
"I'm not participating in school functions and things like that as I was," she said.
About the Neediest Families Fund Drive
The Neediest Families Fund Drive was established in 1928 to provide assistance to families in need during the holidays and for the coming year.
This year's goal is to raise $300,000 by Christmas Eve. Last year's goal was exceeded; $334,888 was raised.
Each Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday through the holiday season, the Tulsa World will spotlight families chosen by The Salvation Army to receive help through this year's fund.
None of the money raised is used for administrative costs.
Cash is not given directly to the families. They are given vouchers for specific needs.
To help families such as the one featured today, send a check or money order to the Neediest Families Fund Drive, in care of the Tulsa World, P.O. Box 1770, Tulsa, OK 74102.
Donations are tax-deductible, and donors can be anonymous.
Donations to the Neediest Families Fund to date total $120,134
Contributions from Tulsans include:
Mike and Leslie Moore, $3,000; Jack and Kelley Bentley, $1,000; Vance Kriete, $1,000; Flint Energy Services Inc., $500; Diane and Gene Martin, $500; Eric and Jill Sutton, $500; Rudy and Deb Herrmann, $500; Carol Krueger, $500; Otto and Ellen Duecker, $500; Ed and Linda Berger, $500; Don and Nancy Nelson, Ed and Barbara Breece, Mayte and Blake Johnson, Barbara and Joe Woltz, and Janet and David Pynn, $500; Genie Well Service, $500; Lacy and Al Whitehead, $500; Carol and Jim Lewis, $500; Gary and Susan Belitz, $500; Mary and Jim Diacon, $500; Drew and Melinda Phillips, $500; Mr. and Mrs. Robert James, $400 in memory of Sophronia James; Bob and Gloria Estlin, $350; Glenn Eddington, $300; Gary and Sharon Young, $300; Harry and Joyce Baker, $250; Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Goodall, $250; Terry and Barbara Law, $250; Karen Keith and Pat Malloy, $200; Ron and Cherl Snyder, $200; Kay Duffy, $200; Michael and Mary Ann Kollar, $200; Joan Flint, $200; Mr. and Mrs. Tom Vogt, $200; Steve Cox, $200; Bert Morphis, $200; Norma Crockett, $200; Helen Sue Price, $200; Marilyn Inhofe Davis, $200; Mona Shannon, $150 in memory of Ken Shannon; D.C. Smith, $150; Shirley and Jim Tollison, $150; Wayne and Aline Gent, $150; Carol Dixon, $150; Sheppard Miers, $100 in memory of Charlene Miers; Clark and Donna Niss, $100; Su and Rick Arlan, $100; Richard and Susan Jeffrey, $100; Jess and Virginia McNulty, $100; Mary Ellen Jones, $100; Wellsprings of Faith Ministries, $100; George and Karen Jones, $100; Gene and Dorothy Gray, $100; Fred Cunningham, $100; Edwin and Judith Anderson, $100; James Freeman, $100; Kathy and Dan Keating, $100; Jacqueline Crews, $100; Michael and Regina DeCarlo, $100; Kay Webb, $100; Denise and Al Smith, $100; Dave and Betty Key, $100; Mary K. Sanditen, $100; Diane Glass, $100; E.C. Smith, $100; David and Sue Barker, $100; Thea Van Horn, $100; Bob and Helen Huntington, $100; Debra Barlow, $100; Carl Norrid, $100; Libby Pinkerton, $100; Gary Broom, $75; Peggy Osborn, $50; Tom and Roberta Montgomery, $50; Betty Pelton Morrow, $50; Mr. and Mrs. Ervin Postier, $50; Margaret Petrilla, $50; M.C. Turner, $50; Alan and Karen Jackere, $50; Lee Roy and Jo Ann Vaughn, $50; Gretchen Battaglia, $50; Michael Zadner, $50; C. Birch Pontius, $50; Steve and Vickie Ludiker, $50; Phil and Jo Albert, $50; Donald and Patsy Calvert, $50; Shela and Charles Davis, $50; Shirley and Ivan Griffith, $50; Effie Mae McHargue, $50; Steve and Lynn Koupe, $50; Carolyn L. Taylor, $35; Allen White, $30; Patricia Scherer, $30; Berniece Rowland, $25; Margie A. Young, $25; Tom and Marjorie Johnson, $25; Charles Haines, $25; Jean Engler, $25; Sue Ann Chapman, $25; Ann Butler, $25; Ronnie and Julia Sue Shook, $25; Raleigh Wright, $25; Jackie Fowler, $20; Norma McDonald, $20; Amos Alexander, $15.
Contributions from outside Tulsa include: A G Equipment Co., Broken Arrow, $5,000;
Blair Williams, on behalf of the Lewis Foundation, Claremore, $500; Ardelle Bryant, Owasso, $300; Jack D. Ward, Broken Arrow, $250; Frank and Teresa White, Broken Arrow, $250; Standridge Clinic, Inc., Owasso, $200; Bill and Betty Burris, Chouteau, $200; Dennis Fryz, Broken Arrow, $200; Judge and Mrs. B.R. Beasley, Claremore, $150; Mike Lowry, Claremore, $100; Paul Morsani, Owasso, $100; Walter and Aletha Oglesby, Broken Arrow, $100; Larry and Sherry Dailey, Catoosa, $100; Frances Anne Goddard, Mannford, $100; Dan Lincicome, Owasso, $100; Jim and Barbara Shepherd, Broken Arrow, $100; Cheryl Hewlett, Owasso, $100; Randy and Vicki Gaines, Broken Arrow, $100; Maxine Pease, Glenpool, $100; Jo Ann Thompson, Skiatook, $50; G.W. Arnaud, Tahlequah, $50; Nick and Codie Wolf, Claremore, $50; Gloria Buehring, Owasso, $50; Jimmy and Diane Smith, Skiatook, $50; David K. Phillips, Claremore, $25; Alan R. Johnson, Broken Arrow, $25; Lynn Moyer, Sand Springs, $25; Curtis Ellis, Jenks, $20; Mable Bohannon, Owasso, $10.
Anonymous donations total $63,369, including a $1,500 contribution in memory of Scot Marshall.
Original Print Headline: Disabled mom, kids rely on food stamps, teen's job
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8378
Cynthia Lewis (second from right) poses for a portrait with her children Ezra Lewis, 15, Jaleesa Lewis,16, and Jessica, 10. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World