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纽约时报基金帮助当地穷人度日

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小编摘要:每到圣诞节和新年这段时间,人们通常以各种方式进行庆祝,而且还彼此交换礼物,等等。但是,并不是所有住在纽约的人都是富人,不少人面临着健康、就业、经济和其他方面的挑战,节日的快乐,对他们来说,离得比较远。

纽约时报基金帮助当地穷人度日

The holiday season is traditionally a time for celebration and gift giving. But for New Yorkers facing dire health, financial or other challenges, life is far from merry. For 100 years, The New York Times has published some of these hard-luck stories and invited readers to contribute money to help.

每到圣诞节和新年这段时间,人们通常以各种方式进行庆祝,而且还彼此交换礼物,等等。但是,并不是所有住在纽约的人都是富人,不少人面临着健康、就业、经济和其他方面的挑战,节日的快乐,对他们来说,离得比较远。不过,过去一百年来,纽约时报一直在这段时间里,专门登载一些穷人的故事,并为一些“最需要救助的人”设立了一个基金,纽约时报邀请读者给这一基金捐款,帮助那些最需要救助的人。

The seed for the Neediest Cases Fund was planted with a small, seemingly random act.

According to Michael Golden, who oversees the fund today, publisher Arthur Ochs was walking off a heavy holiday meal, in December 1911, when a stranger approached and politely asked for a handout. Ochs gave him a dollar and a job prospect.

"And then, as he walked away, he thought, ‘The end of the year is a traditional time for gift giving and a lot of good spirit. Perhaps the newspaper could do something on a grander scale.’ And that gave rise to the first Neediest Cases drive.”

A century later, the Neediest Cases Fund still helps people like Charles Smith, a client at Brooklyn Community Services, one of seven social service agencies the fund works with.

In 2008, Smith had a good job and was able to support his aging mother and young son. But within a year, Smith was diagnosed with cancer and forced to quit his job to undergo treatment. Without health insurance and nearly penniless, Smith and his son moved in with his mom, who soon developed a terminal illness.

“When I began to get well, my mother passed away,” says Smith. “That was devastating as well. She was an anchor. It was traumatic going through it - the nightmares, the getting up in the middle of the night, talking cold showers, just to try to get myself together.”

Smith turned to Brooklyn Community Services, which treated him for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and offered family counseling for him and his son - all subsidized by funds from Neediest Cases.

The Neediest Cases Fund also helped pay for counseling and incidental living expenses for Garvin Henry, 35, who has suffered from mental illness most of his life.

“I’ve been having hard times in my life,” Henry recalls. “I was breaking down with depression, stress and anger.”

Yet Henry has always excelled in making art. The fund subsidized an art therapy class for Henry and other challenged adults. It was a structured way for them to explore their feelings while playing to their strengths.

“I did my work also and they did their work and I am happy for myself and everybody else. This is like the biggest stepping stone for us to use to our advantage. It means a lot to me, a lot to them.”

The Cordis family was hit with more than their share of troubles. When family patriarch died suddenly in 2006, his wife suffered a nervous breakdown and is still unable to work. That left her teenage daughters, Judy and Christina, to fend for themselves and care for their younger brother David. Soon the family was living in a shelter.

With Neediest Cases funds, they received family counseling. Judy says the fund also gave David the money he needed for his eighth grade prom, which was a huge morale booster.

“I would have felt horrible if he wasn’t able to do that. I would have felt like that’s something else we were unable to give him as his older sisters.”

The prom money was the start of a positive trend. Catholic Charities of America, another Times Neediest Cases Fund agency, helped the family sort out its immigration problems. It now seems American citizenship is on its way, and with it, the right to work, and leave the shelter.

The future once looked bright for Carolina Martinez. She had two young sons, a husband, good health and a dream of going to college and nursing school. But within one year, her father died, her husband left her, her schoolwork began to suffer, she developed a near fatal heart condition, her longtime apartment building was bought by developers, and she was evicted, with no money for moving expenses.

“And then I said ‘What now?’ So I said, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, it’s all in your hands. I have no other way. I have no one else to ask.’”

Within days, the Shorefront YMHA, a network agency of the United Jewish Appeal, told Martinez that the Neediest Cases Fund would cover her moving expenses. Today, back in college and on her way to nursing school, she intends to give back the help she has received by helping others. “Absolutely. At the end of the tunnel, there is light.”

The New York Times spotlights the tangible results of helping others, encouraging continued kindness. The dollar amount of donations to the Neediest Cases Fund has decreased recently, but the number of people contributing to it continues to rise.

纽约时报给“最需要救助的人”设立的这个基金,是从一个颇为偶然的事件开始的。

麦克尔·格尔登目前是这一基金的负责人。他说,早在一百年前,具体说是1911年12月的一个夜晚,纽约时报当时的出版人阿瑟·奥克斯在路上走着,希望消化掉刚刚吃过的节日大餐。正在这时,一个陌生人请他留步,很礼貌地请他给一些施舍。奥克斯给了这个人一块美元,还给了他一线就业的希望。

麦克尔·格尔登说:“奥克斯一边走,一边想,每年年底的时候,人们通常心气儿都比较高,也乐于施舍,或许报纸能在每年年底的时候,帮助做些善事,比较大规模的,这就是为‘最需要救助的人’设立的这个基金的故事来源。”

一百年后,这个基金现在真正做到了帮助一些非常需要帮助的人。查尔斯·史密斯就是其中一个。他是布鲁克林社区服务中心的一个客户,而这个服务中心是和纽约时报基金合作的七个组织当中的一个。

2008年的时候,史密斯当时有一份不错的工作,完全有能力养活他的老母和儿子。但是一年之内,史密斯本人被查出患有癌症,不得不辞去工作,接受治疗;在没有医疗保险、而且几乎身无分文的情况下,史密斯不得不和儿子一道,搬到母亲那儿去住,但是他母亲不久也被查出患有绝症。

史密斯说:“就这样,一环接一环,我的病刚好一些,我母亲却在2009年去世了。她病逝以后,我需要很长一段时间来进行调整;因为我母亲过去一直是我可以倚靠的人。她的病逝,对我来说,确实挺难的。晚上有时做噩梦,半夜起来,洗个冷水澡,慢慢地从那种忧伤中走出来。”

过了不久,史密斯听说有一个布鲁克林社区服务中心,能够通过心理治疗,帮助他从受到的精神打击和忧伤中走出来;服务中心能给他和儿子两人一道进行心理治疗。所有这些治疗,都是经由纽约时报为“最需要救助的人”设立的基金予以资金上的援助的。

布鲁克林社区服务中心同时还从纽约时报的这一基金拿到款项,为35岁的加尔文·亨利支付心理治疗的费用,同时还有一些生活费用。亨利多年来一直患有精神上的疾病。

他说:“忧郁症、生活上的压力、心灵深处的不满、等等,这些都让我情绪不稳定。”

不过,有一点是亨利擅长的,那就是,从事一些艺术上的创造。纽约时报的这个基金帮助为亨利和其他一些精神上不稳定的成年人,开设艺术理疗课程,帮着他们理顺心理上的问题,同时帮助他们发挥内在的潜能。

亨利说:“我做了一些工作,其他的人也是一样,这让我对自己和其他人,都感到很高兴;这对我们来说,可以说是帮了一个大忙,让我们能扬长避短,这对我本人,还有参与到其中的其他人来说,都是意味深长的。”

克尔迪斯一家近些年来,也遭到了很多不幸。作为一家之主的父亲突然在2006年去世了,母亲一下子就垮了,到现在,还不能上班。结果,两个十几岁的姐妹朱迪和克里斯蒂娜,不得不“穷人的孩子早当家”,努力谋生之余,还要照顾年幼的弟弟。全家不久就被迫沦为不得不到专门给穷人设置的临时居住场所去住。

在纽约时报基金的帮助下,他们得以接受心理治疗,而且这一基金还给弟弟大卫一些钱,让他能够参加学校举办的八年级毕业庆祝会。姐姐朱迪说,这对大卫来说,一下子就提高了他的精气神儿。

朱迪说:“我很高兴,弟弟能参加学校的八年级毕业晚会。假如因为经济上的原因,弟弟去不成的话,我心里会很难受的。我会觉得,作为姐姐来说,我们连这一点都不能帮弟弟做到。”

从那儿以后,克尔迪斯一家的命运似乎开始好转起来。另外一个和纽约时报的基金一起合作的组织、美国天主教慈善机构帮着克尔迪斯一家解决了移民上的困难;不久,他们就将获得美国公民身份了,随之而来的,将是工作许可,最终,他们将能够离开专门为穷人设置的临时住所,翻开生活中崭新的一页了。

对于卡罗琳娜·玛丁奈兹来说,生活前景一度是非常明朗的。她有两个年幼的儿子,丈夫当时似乎也挺好,全家人身体都挺健康,她本人梦想有一天能上大学、进护士学校。不过,好景不长;一年之内,她的父亲去世了,丈夫离她而去,然后她在学校的成绩开始下降,而且几乎患上了不治的心脏病。所谓祸不单行;她长期居住的那栋大楼被开发商买去了,她被扫地出门,连搬家的费用都支付不起。

卡罗琳娜说:“我那时候不得不请求上帝帮忙,说,主啊,现在一切都掌握在您的手中了,我别的什么办法都没有了,也没有别人可以求助了。”

不几天,纽约时报基金的一个单位、犹太人联合施善组织下属的一个机构对卡罗琳娜说,可以出钱帮她们一家搬家。如今,卡罗琳娜又回到大学念书了,而且不久还将开始读护士学校。她今后打算要做一些善事,帮其他人渡过难关。她说:“一定会的;黑暗的尽头是光明。”

纽约时报在谈到上面说的这个为“最需要救助的人”设置的基金的文章中,点出被帮助的人已经取得的成绩,从而来鼓励读者继续给予捐助。虽然这一基金收到的捐助款项的总数似乎有所下降,但是,捐助人数却一直在增加。

标签:voa standard
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2011-12-23 19:04 编辑:pliny
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