The following letter was sent to Patch by Tom Kerns of the . With the consent of the intended beneficiary, Kerns asked us to post it on Patch:
We have another community family in need of our help. Cheryl Galante is the single mother of 3 children. She has been working hard as a freelance consultant in these tough times to earn enough income to feed her kids, pay her bills and keep her home. It's been a struggle but she was making it happen, sometimes with smoke and mirrors, but she was surviving. However, on the very rainy evening of May 21 that all changed.
Cheryl was involved in a very serious car accident on Route 78 and sustained very serious injuries that include a broken neck and a broken hand. While she thankfully did not suffer any paralysis, her neck injury requires her to wear a halo neck brace for the next 4 months. This brace extends from her skull to the bottom of her ribcage. She is unable to move her neck and head at all and requires assistance for all daily activities. This restriction makes it impossible to read or use the computer for any length of time.
Cheryl is a freelance consultant and is now unable to earn any income, and has had to cancel all her current contracts. She is unable to pay all of her bills and is in danger of losing her home; in addition, two of her children are still dependent on her income and one is in college. Her oldest daughter was recently hired in an entry level position. So while she can offer assistance during this crisis, the amount is very small.
Since Cheryl was unable to afford medical insurance the hospital has sent her home to fend for herself. She is in need of physical therapy and home health care, but without insurance she is relying on friends and family. One of her friends is researching to determine if Cheryl is eligible for any public assistance, but our fear is that this will take a long time to complete. She needs help now.
So, once again we are reaching out to the Maplewood/South Orange community to help one of our fellow community members in need. You've helped other community families before and we hope that you can help again. Through HK Community Fund's "HK C.A.R.E.S." program you can make a tax deductible contribution to help Cheryl and her family get through these next few trying months as they recover from this crisis. HK Community Fund will match up to the first $5,000 donated.
Cheryl is a strong person who has helped many people. Those of you who know Cheryl probably remember all the work she did to raise funds and provide assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. However, even the strongest among us need help now and again. Please help in any way you can. You can send a donation via check made out to HK Community Fund, 515 Valley Street, Suite 130, Maplewood, NJ 07040 (please print Galante on the memo line) or on-line at http://www.hkcommunityfund.org/donate. When donating online you will have an option to provide "special instructions to seller". Please click on that link and type "Galante" so that HKCF will know how to direct your donation.
HK Community Fund
Read more about the work of the HK Community Fund .