Prosecute the torture.

November 26, 2008

From My Friend Sue

My friend Sue, who posts over at Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents has posted:
Dear Friends:

I am writing to you with a simple plea for help to make the holidays a bit more merry and bright for the individuals and families we serve at Community Human Services (CHS).

As you may know, the reason people need help at this time of the year is that they have limited resources. People living with severe and persistent mental illness typically rely on social security. Their housing and basic needs like toiletries and food take most of what they make so they do not have the financial resources to buy things like clothes, electric razors, toiletries beyond basic soap and toothpaste, shoes, etc. The same is true of our individuals and families experiencing homelessness; everything really goes to basic needs of shelter and food. Parents struggle to get new clothes or toys/ books for their children. They also struggle to get things for themselves and usually their needs come last after their children. The holidays are stressful for both groups because they don’t have the luxury of a holiday meal or gifts; they are lucky to have a roof, clothes and possibly food.

We invite you to join us in our holiday projects and made a tangible difference during what promises to be a very economically challenging holiday season. You can participate in one of two very concrete ways, by sponsoring a “Giving Tree” or by adopting a family. In either case, CHS will provide you with basic demographic information and holiday wishes from the person(s) you choose to serve this season.

For nearly 40 years, CHS has been providing services to residents of South Oakland and the larger Pittsburgh community, ranging from afterschool programs to residential programs for adults living with a mental illness. Our programming extends the notion of care and celebration to places where people live and work, rather than operating from one central location. These "new" systems that mix professionals and indigenous persons to provide services reflect a need in our culture to mix informal community rituals with the more formal supports and interventions. Such a system integrates people and helps reestablish community while assisting persons at risk.

With your help, we can ensure that the individuals and families we serve experience some joy during these holidays. To participate, please contact me at 412- 246-1629 or skerr@chscorp.org. We are able to accept donations throughout December and our staff can make arrangements to assist with picking up donations.

For more information, please visit our website at http://www.chscorp.org/Holidays.htm.

Thank you for your support.

Sue Kerr MSW
Director of Residential Programs
Her blog has the details as well as links.

PS: As this is not my usual political posting, I'm turning off the comments.