Since 2000 Caritas has budgeted funds to support one-off cases that come to the attention of the Caritas leadership.
Warmly referred to as “Our Special Cases”, these are generally referred to us by the directors of projects with whom we have had a long term relationship or through the clergy of the various churches in our community.
The cases are vetted thoroughly by reviewing medical records, referral checks and most often, making the arduous and time consuming journey to meet the applicants and verify the facts of their stories. These cases bring us closer to the realities of surviving in a country with a limited safety net to handle catastrophic accidents.
I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being,
let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.~ William Penn
In 2006 we received an urgent request from a parish priest to support Sr. Liu’s sister. Ms Xiao lived in a small village in Shandong Province and had survived a gas explosion at home in which she experienced burns over 75% of her body. Caritas participated in the fund drive to support the treatment of her burned body.
Introduced through our orphanage connection, Caritas also assisted in the support of a double hip replacement surgery for a farmer’s son in a village in Shanxi Province.
During a site visit to the village, we found that 27-year-old Mr. Jiang had been born with a congenital bone disease which had made him bedridden since he was a teenager. Not able to walk or work, he was a drain on on the family’s meager finances.
Caritas subsidized a trip to Xian to visit the hospital there. Once the hospital admitted him, Caritas wired sufficient funds directly to the hospital to allow the surgery to take place. Mr Jiang now walks with a cane and can work light jobs to support himself.
Not all cases brought to our attention result in assistance to the afflicted. Sometimes there is no medical intervention possible to help the patient. In these cases we will look for ways to ensure that the catastrophe does not derail the entire family and plunge them into downward spiral of poverty.
For example, Sister Cui’s brother was involved in a major car accident resulting in him becoming a quadriplegic. There really was nothing that modern medicine could do to change his situation. Instead, Caritas provided a scholarship fund for his children to finish their high school education so that they could create a better future for the entire family.
In recent years, 5 farmers in the mountains outside of Xian, Shaanxi received funds which Caritas passed to their priest to repair walls damaged by earthquakes.
Caritas also participated in a major fundraising effort to support a special cancer treatment for a young man from Jiangxi province who had a rare form of leukemia. Although his family had already gone into a massive debt, they would not give up until they had found the only way to save their son.
Caritas has had the opportunity to support these cases through donations large and small. However we realise that they are only a drop in the bucket of the hundreds and thousands of people who could use help to save them from destitution in an emergency.
We honor those we can help. And continue to look for ways to spread our message of hope and courage to those we can.