Learning tops list of needs for many
Families hope for financial assistance to continue school and work training.
Saif Al Zuwaydee, his wife, Rusul Khudhair, and their three children are what the American dream is all about. At the start of 2012, the family was living in Baghdad, worried Al Zuwaydee’s time as an interpreter for the U.S. Army was putting the family in danger.
They dreamed of a safer place, and in March, they arrived in Austin. With the help of Caritas of Austin and Interfaith Action of Central Texas, they quickly began to build a life in their new city.
The Al Zuwaydees are one of 12 families featured in the Austin American-Statesman’s Season for Caring program, which helps hundreds of families through financial donations administered by local nonprofit agencies.
Since the family’s first story ran Nov. 25, many of their needs have been met. The biggest things still on their wish list are tuition payments for Al Zuwaydee to get training as a computer technician and for Khudhair to become a certified child caregiver.
They are not the only families who need help furthering their education. Nine-year-old Aubrey Farrell needs a math tutor to help her with school and help starting a college fund. Life with the muscular condition of Marfan syndrome can be a challenge and will eventually lead to heart surgeries or a transplant. Math struggles should be the least of her concerns.
The Rosas children — Maria, 12; Jovana, 11; Yari, 10; Raul, 7; and Roxanna, 5 — need tutoring to overcome learning challenges like dyslexia.
Many of our families need help with child care to allow
their parent or guardian to work more hours. Ethel Wright, 65, can work at a Texas State University dining hall only when her four grandchildren — 2year-old twins and 8- and 10-year-old boys — are in school.
Malinda Fisher is recovering emotionally and financially from when her 1-year-old son, Aaron, was in the hospital healing from burns after his father put him into a scalding bath. While she has a job at an assisted living facility, day care assistance will give her one more step to moving out of her sister’s house and into her own apartment.
Analicia Rodriguez, who grew up in foster care and now lives at the Austin Children’s Shelter with daughters Anas- tashia, 3, and Aleina, 2, is making steps toward getting her own apartment. She’s looking for a job as a certified nursing assistant and will need help with day care.
LaRonda Rowe, 19, who is now the guardian for sister Patsy, 16, and brother Randy, 5, has seen some donations toward a college fund. That money will help Rowe continue school and could help Patsy in a few years as well. Their mother died in January.
Jamie Yancy and Eddie Cousins are proud of their oldest son, Bryant, 18, who passed his first semester in college at the University of Texas at Arlington with all A’s and B’s. They need financial help to help him continue his studies.
To help these families with their educational needs, make a donation online at statesman.com/ seasonforcaring, or find the coupon in the paper daily to mail in a donation. You can designate a family you’d like your donation to go to or have it go to all the families.
Aubrey Farrell, who has Marfan syndrome, needs a math tutor. Contact Nicole Villalpando at 912-5900.