The Patriot Ledger's 20th annual holiday charity drive will provide valuable help for needs that state and federal grants can't address. The charity has raised more than $2.8 million since 1998.

Emily and her 4-year-old son moved to a shelter to escape a violent home. She began working with Quincy Community Action Programs to find a permanent home and she enrolled her son in QCAP's Head Start program for early education.

Her difficulties mounted when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She began treatment, but had to stop when she was also diagnosed with a serious heart condition.

Emily has frequent medical appointments, as doctors evaluate the best treatment. She has no car, so she uses public transportation to go to medical appointments and to take her son to Head Start every day. She has no job and the cost of monthly bus passes is more than she can afford.

Lend a Hand donations would help Emily with public transportation costs so she can continue getting to medical appointments and her son can remain in Head Start. It would also alleviate some of the stress she has experienced since the diagnosis.

Source: Information for this story was provided by staff at Quincy Community Action Programs. Names may be changed to protect privacy.