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Depression, coupled with an old knee injury, left Ms. Taylor unable to leave her apartment to purchase food. By the end of April, her food stamps had run out and her supplies were low.

That’s when she called Children’s Aid, which is supported by The Fund, and her social worker at the Administration for Children’s Services. The groups provided Ms. Taylor with takeout to hold her over until she could get access to groceries, and, through The Fund, she received a $100 Stop and Stop gift card.

“It was hard to do,” she said of asking for help. “But I said, ‘This is something I need to do for me.’”

Ms. Taylor suffered from weight loss and felt too ashamed to go outside. But with encouragement from a friend, she began to emerge from her downward spiral. And after three months inside, Ms. Taylor came out for fresh air. She’s now studying for a license to become a security guard.

Mr. Sanchez is also emerging from his months in limbo. Last month, Mr. Sanchez had his kidney transplant, and today, he’s feeling “amazing.”

“I’m almost afraid to speak on it because I don’t want to jinx it,” he said.

Since March, he feared that the stranger who had decided to donate her organ would back out. She didn’t, and on Oct. 21, Mr. Sanchez received a new kidney as part of an eight-person donor swap that started in Pennsylvania and ended with Mr. Sanchez in the Bronx.

“Even though things have been rough, I look at these little moments and say, I’m going to be OK,” said Mr. Sanchez, who now owes $10,000 in rental arrears. “Who has a stranger offer them the gift of life? Those little things make me feel like, you know what, I can’t complain. I could but I’m going to chill because somebody is smiling on me.”



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