CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Sandra married at a young age, and she and her husband, Fred, had three children together.
One day, Fred, who was dealing with some personal problems in his life, left Sandra without warning, taking the children with him. The children grew up in another state without having any contact with Sandra, who later learned that one of her adult children, whom she had barely known, had died.
Sandra remarried and she and her second husband, Ray, moved to another state, where they both found work and led comfortable lives. The couple had been married 30 years when Sandra learned that her sister in West Virginia was having serious health problems. Sandra and Ray moved back to West Virginia and bought a house together.
A few years later, Sandra's sister passed away, and then Ray's health failed and he, too, died. Sandra lived reasonably comfortably until her home began to deteriorate. The roof of the house was badly damaged during the June 2012 derecho, and continues to leak when it rains. The gutters and downspouts also need to be repaired or replaced.
Sandra took a part-time job to supplement her income, but her own health is failing and it is difficult for her to work very many hours. Union Mission learned of her plight and a caseworker made a home visit to assess Sandra's needs. It is estimated that $1,500 is required to make the needed repairs. With winter approaching, any financial assistance would greatly ease the financial burden for this struggling widow.
Since 1911, Union Mission has gained a regional reputation for being there for West Virginians who have nowhere to turn. The organization receives no local, state or federal dollars in helping individuals such as Sandra, or for providing more than 75,000 meals and 23,000 nights of safe shelter to the homeless and hungry.
Union Mission also offers addiction recovery programs for men and women, and distributes Christmas baskets to 40,000 people.
To support Union Mission in its efforts to provide help and hope for Sandra and other West Virginians in need, please consider making a contribution to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.
When you make a donation to Gazette Charities, every penny goes to the agencies and people who need help. The Gazette covers the administrative costs of the fund. All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible.
Look for the donation coupon in Wednesday's paper, or donate online by clicking on our Gazette Charities Christmas Funds logo on this website.