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Families Helping Families

When Beth* reposted Marcelo and Gael’s Austin American-Statesman’s Season for Caring story on her Facebook feed, she decided to talk to her family about filling their needs for Christmas. However, her friend, Emily Jung, beat her to the punch. She and her family decided to assist Marcelo and Gael in lieu of exchanging presents themselves.

Beth called Hospice Austin to let us know about Emily’s plans. She was happy that Marcelo and Gael would get the help they needed, and said she would find another family to sponsor.

We happened to know just the family.

Baby Noah was born with Rett’s Syndrome, an especially severe disease in boys. His parents are selling their house in Bastrop and moving into a smaller house so Noah’s dad, who works in a body shop, can spend more time at home with Noah. Money is tight and the 850 square-foot house needs repairs and a new roof before they can move in. Hospice Austin also nominated them for Season for Caring, but Marcelo was selected because his caregiving needs were so acute.

We sent Beth the list of needs that we originally submitted to the Statesman with the Season for Caring application. Beth understands about families not having a lot of resources, and she is deeply committed to Hospice Austin. The only child of a single mother, Beth was her mother’s primary caregiver while she was an unfunded patient on our service. Beth was in her early 20s and understandably bereft after her mother’s death. She took advantage of Hospice Austin’s grief services, and said it saved her life. Now Beth is happily married with a baby Noah’s age, and she wants to give back.

Beth and her husband’s family went shopping and filled a carload with toys and gifts. They are also working to replace the roof and helping the family in other ways, too. They wrapped the presents and brought them to Hospice Austin.

Hospice Austin volunteer Milt Clark dressed up like Santa to visit pedi patients, so he helped deliver the wrapped gifts. When Santa arrived, Noah’s 6-year-old brother was so excited he ran a lap around the house, just like a puppy!

Beth’s family didn’t go to deliver the presents to Noah’s family because, they say, it’s not about them. They wanted to remain anonymous for this story also. But Noah’s mom sent a message to them thanking them from the bottom of her heart for the joy they have brought to her family.

Beth responded, “My husband and I are both very grateful to have been a small part of making this family’s Christmas a much better one and are so grateful to have a family that values helping others. Way to go, team!”

For more pictures of Santa’s visit to Noah’s house, please click here.



Melinda Marble
Communications Coordinator



*Not her real name

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