Help From The United Way

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As the United Way faces a $500,000 budget shortfall, many of the agencies the agency helps stand to lose their funding and ability to serve the 32,000 people in Madison County that receive their help.

CASA (Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound), is just one of the many agencies helped by the United Way.

Patricia Penny has been under the care of CASA for the past 15 years. She turned to the agency when she had no one else.

In 1996, a stroke left her paralyzed on the left side of her body. While Penny recovered from the paralysis two years later, she now suffers from diabetes and is legally blind.

"I`m alone, except for CASA and my church family," said Penny. "They've made my being a homebound senior a lot more comfortable and a lot easier for me to be able to handle things."

CASA volunteers give Penny a ride to every doctor's appointment and deliver groceries.

Once a month Penny's main caregiver organizes her medications.  She put marks on the microwave and phone so Penny, with her limited eyesight, can see what buttons to push.

"Any type of equipment I need from canes to walkers to a bedside ramp, CASA has helped me get or put me in touch with people who can get it for me," said Penny.

With funding from the United Way, CASA has been able to go above and beyond to help people maintain a sense of normality.

"This helps my self-esteem too. I don`t like being treated like an invalid, and they don`t," said Penny. "They allow me to function as much as I can, but I know they`re there."

But if the money isn`t there, neither will the programs that help thousands.

And no longer will there be the sense of comfort that comes with knowing help is only a phone call away.

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