I don't have any pictures to show or video to send but I am honest and I am telling you about a woman who could REALLY use your help.
I need you to PLEASE read this email and to help, if you can, a RARE and FANTASTIC woman I know. Her name is Denise. She lives in Staten Island, NY.
Denise has been raising her 4 "special" children for the last 22 years. She is a survivor of domestic violence and has taken her children through the NYC shelter system alone.
Her oldest son (Daniel Jr. 22) has Mental Retardation. Her younger son (Damian 18) and youngest daughter (Amanda 13)have Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Autism spectrum) and her older daughter (Dakota 15) has a hearing disorder and a blood disorder. ALL of her children have ADHD and Anxiety, two have Bipolar Disorder and ALL are taking medication for these disorders.
She worked two jobs to support her children until she had to leave to go into a shelter due to an abusive husband. Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and Agoraphobia, she takes phenomenal care of her children and others around her!!!
Denise has 7 dogs (4 rescued from high kill shelters and 3 that were abandoned) that she takes care of like her babies. Two of them came to her severely abused and she has worked toward re-socializing them. She also cares for a street cat that stays by her house.
She is a TIRELESS advocate online for shelter animals, animal abuse, Breed Specific Legislation and other humane issues.
She is on top of her children's education and services they receive. She is a Parent member for the NYC Board Of Education and helps other parents navigate their way through the special education system.
Under a social worker from the BOE, Denise has researched and provided referrals for needy low income families to obtain food, clothing, furniture, schooling and immigration assistance, and counseling. She also provides referrals at the holidays for toys and holiday dinners. She does ALL of this and MORE on the little second hand computer, printer and fax machine she has.
Denise is my health proxy, "sister", best friend and biggest ally. She has helped me through lung cancer surgery a few years ago. She delayed moving out of state until I was out of the hospital. She came to the hospital to see me and helped me wash my hair. She has stayed on the phone with me when I recently fell and she provided me the needed courage and reassurance I needed to get myself up from the floor. She has taken care of me (and still takes care of me).
She has also opened up her apartment on MANY occasions to help people who have had no place else to go. One of these people was my sickly daughter (who now resides in Florida,)
When she and her family moved back to NY, she waged a "campaign" to get me out of my 4th floor walk up apartment (where I was home bound) and into a walk in apartment here on Staten Island. She arranged the moving, helped with getting me a Section 8 transfer due to health reasons, and helped me get the one shot deal from Welfare that I needed to move in. She helped me with a real estate agent, went with me to see the apartment and went with me on all my other appointments.
After I moved in to my new apartment, I fell and was laying on a baseboard heater for 5 and a half hours. She stayed with me (while in the ambulance) and took me to the hospital, spoke with doctors, nurses and did whatever she had to do to see that I was in the best of care. She shops for me, goes with me on my appointments and all this while taking care of her family, dogs and home.
Her home is not hers (she rents it). The furnishings in her house are all second hand or donated and have REALLY seen better days. Their house is REALLY not big enough for her family and their dogs but it has become a sanctuary for anyone who needs help.
She has helped her EX husband, his new wife AND their 2 "special" children when Children's Services threatened to have them removed. She has provided a temporary place to stay for a friend, her husband AND their 3 kids until the friend could find housing for herself.
I wish you could meet this woman!!! She buys NOTHING for herself!!! She wears NO makeup and gets her hair done once every 2-3 years. She wears her sons' clothes and what has been given to her. She NEVER asks for anything for herself and she NEVER complains about what she doesn't have. She LOOKS to give to others who have less than she does!!!
Sometimes she has to go to food pantries to get enough food to feed them but she will WILLINGLY and without complaint go without food to give the plate to someone who needs it. Likewise, she will give her last dollar to help someone else and never think twice about it.
She feeds stray cats and birds and anything else that needs her help, her love and her care.
The love and caring she has for her family, her pets and EVERYONE and EVERYTHING around her is UNMISTAKEABLE!!!!
She is going through a REALLY hard time. Her furniture was infested by bedbugs and not long after that, her finished basement (where her boys' sleep and where she was storing all the children's winter clothes and bed linens) had a BAD sewer backup. She lost ALL her children's winter clothes and linens when water (contaminated by urine and waste) soaked everything.
NOW her boys must sleep on the floor in the living room because there is mold and mildew on the walls of the basement.
She has the BIGGEST heart, the most GENEROUS nature and is truly a GIFT to the world!!! She DESERVES so much!!! If you could PLEASE help her... it would mean the world to me (and others like me) who she has (and will) help.