United Way helps Families In Need

1 decade 7 months 1 day ago February 23, 2006 Feb 23, 2006 Thursday, February 23 2006 Thursday, February 23, 2006 5:06:19 PM CST in News

Robert Stein takes good care of his yard and family.  He talked about his mother while he tried to pick weeds out of his garden.

"My mother was born in 1914 in New York City. She went to college at 16, skipped lots of grades," Stein explained.  Claire Stein had a habit of getting her hair and nails done nearly every Friday. "Every week from about the age of 15, this was a pattern for her"

Over more than 80 years, Stein's mother cultivated close relationships including her four sons.

"My parents were married almost 59 years and when my father died, my mother went into a depression.  We got a telephone call that she was rushed to the emergency room and she had gone into a psychotic state. She stopped communicating very much, stopped eating and basically starving herself to death. She had lost the will to keep herself alive," Stein said.

Last year, in Claire's final days, Robert's family took their mother to the Friendship House, which is affiliated with Hospice of Jefferson City and Mid-Missouri.  They found a place where their mom could live her last days with dignity and comfort. Comfort provided in part by the United Way.

"The United Way has been instrumental from the very beginning. We began in 1981. They have always been very supportive. A third of our operating budget comes from the United Way," explained Mary Jensen, from the Hospice of Jefferson City and Mid- Missouri.

This year, the United Way helped fund the recruitment and training of hospice volunteers, and provided patient supplies.  Assistance that was noticed by Stein. 

"When mother passed at the hospice house, they bent over backwards to give us all the space and time we needed to say goodbye to her, you should have seen her face when that happened," said Stein.

The day before she died, her family made sure to get her hair and nails done. She died looking very much like the person she was. Thanks to the United Way and Hospice.

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