Giving a Brother a Hand "UP"

Charity comes from the Latin word caritas and the Old French word charite, which means unconditional love for others and even though we may think that charity means giving to an organization known as a charity, charity actually refers to any loving action.  Kindness starts with those closest to us. If our near and dear ones are in need of and hand 'up', then we should surely be ever-ready to help them by all possible means. Most of us donate to specific ‘charities’, and that is also ‘love’ – but, today, I’m asking for your help with a family member, my brother, your cousin, your nephew, your son, a single father, who is homeless, destitute, and struggling with depression after a difficult separation from his wife. This is an intelligent man in his fifties who, at the height of his career, had more than average wealth after creating his own, successful business many years ago. He married, bought a beautiful home and had two children - one could say he had the world by the tail!

And then, everything went wrong. The marriage was over, and the house was eventually sold and he had to give his 50%, by court order, to his ex-wife for support of his son, 12 and daughter,15 who were staying with their mother.  There was no money or any assets remaining after the house was sold and he had to agree with the settlement.  He lost his business.  Soon after the money was handed over, his ex-wife said she could no longer keep her daughter,  and threatened to place her in a group home as she was not in a mental position to cope with a depressed, frightened, budding, young teenage girl.  Needless to say the siblings came together and would not allow this to happen and, in the most charitable way, our little sister took our brother and his daughter into her small 2-bedroom home a few hours from the City.  He lost his business and his car.  A few months later, his mother died suddenly.

Our brother was diagnosed with depression and malnutrition.  It has now been over 1 year, and the four siblings invested money, paid debts,  and consistently provided moral support to ensure that our brother had proper medical and psychiatric care, first and foremost. This took some time and anyone who has had experience with depression and loss, will understand that the medication and obtaining professional help take months before a person feels ‘better’.  This has taken a huge toll on our little sister, emotionally and financially.

Today our niece is settled into a good school in the main town and she's made new friends.  Luckily, a school bus picks her up to take her into the Town.  She loves the atmosphere and friendliness of the small town.  She is suffering from low self-esteem, and insecurity, having been abandoned by her mother with no promise of future. She passed grade 8, although it was a big struggle for her after being separated from her brother and abandoned by her mother, and as many 15 year olds do, she got into trouble. She is a really good person and intelligent at the core and excited to be in grade 9 now with her new friends. Her self-esteem is low;  she's worried about her father's health and doesn’t know what her future holds, knowing she can’t stay with her aunt any longer.  

Her aunts and uncle have been present in her life, but her true caregiver and temporary ‘saviour’ and teacher has been my little sister. It has been financially and emotionally draining for her and her part time job has ended. On top of that, my sister's son has recently moved into the small house and there is definitely “no more room at the Inn”.  

We are asking help from family and friends to assist with relocating my brother and niece as soon as possible.  When 2 family members donated money to support the "hand up" plan, we were encouraged to go out to you. However it is not enough to get them moved into a proper living situation. 

The rental costs in the closest City to our niece's school have gone up considerably and rentals are difficult to find. Social services will cover a certain amount for rent and it is simply not enough. We need an appropriate living situation for a 15 year old and her father. She can’t go back to her mother and we believe it is best to keep her in her present school, given her unstable emotional state. We have taken her to the hospital, her check up was good, however she has received some counselling and this will continue.  We would like to keep father and daughter together.

We are looking for a rental place and our goal is to fund any over and above costs until he finds a job.  We expect it to be no longer than 3 months. With the help of many people, we have gathered and collected all they will need for furniture, and other household needs, even a computer has been donated.  There is so much kindness everywhere. 

After 3 months of psychiatric care and medication, our brother is feeling clearer and is looking for employment of any kind. He has already been on 2 job interviews and is feeling optimistic and very determined to regain optimum health for himself and for the sake of his daughter's well-being and future.  And we all want that too!  We too feel optimistic for the first time in a long while and our brother is getting stronger every day. 

If you believe ‘charity begins at home’, and if you already have a little money going to other ‘charities’, would you consider a donation to help my brother and niece start a new life?  Any amount is welcome!  The money you donate will not be given directly to my brother, and will be used for securing a place to live and any overage required that wouldn’t be covered by his current situation.  After we find a place, we calculated that we need approximately $5,000.  We want to help lift them up and into a new and respectful life and would be grateful for any help you can give.  Sometimes it takes a village before someone can have a second chance. We would be very grateful if anyone would consider giving someone a second chance? (We prefer not to use current photos or names to ensure the privacy of our brother who is job seeking right now.

“As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.” - Paul Shane Spear


  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 (Offline)
    • 49 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $2,000 (Offline)
    • 49 mos
  • Daphne Smith 
    • $500 
    • 49 mos
  • Rose-Marie Caza 
    • $500 
    • 49 mos
  • Kathy & Christopher Walsh 
    • $300 
    • 49 mos
See all


Susan Bennett 
Scarborough, ON
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