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A helping hand for LIers in need

We must not forget those who are struggling

We must not forget those who are struggling on Long Island, or fail to help them. Credit: Newsday Help-A-Family

In the midst of a holiday season filled with food, gifts and celebrations, it’s easy to overlook those among us who are struggling — Long Islanders who depend on food banks and shelters to meet basic needs, who require counseling and training to get back on their feet, whose children still lag in educational skills.

We must not forget them, or fail to help them.

An important vehicle for doing that is the Help-A-Family drive facilitated by Newsday Charities. Every donation goes directly to families in need. Newsday and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation cover all administrative costs. Thanks to a 50 percent match from the foundation, each dollar is multiplied, so a $100 gift becomes $150. Donations are tax-deductible.

Your help can change lives. It did for Victoria, a homeless and unemployed single mother who received job training and counseling from Catholic Charities’ Project Independence program; she now works as a certified massage therapist and lives in her community with her daughter. Frank, a prison inmate who discovered his 7-year-old daughter was in foster care, entered the Long Island Parenting Institute’s parenting program after his release and eventually was granted full custody of his daughter. And a young homeless mother of three was helped by the Wyandanch Homes and Property Development Corporation; in five years, she was able to finish nursing school and is now a working RN and proud homeowner.

Since 2000, Help-A-Family has raised more than $14.5 million, providing nearly 500 grants to local organizations who do terrific and essential work. The current campaign goes until Jan. 31. Please pitch in.

To learn more, or to donate, go to or call 631-843-3056. — The editorial board