Sunday, December 10, 2000

Wish List donations outpacing '99

By John Johnston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        More than a dozen people have inquired about helping Helen Matthey, who was profiled in The Cincinnati Enquirer a week ago when the newspaper began its 15th annual Wish List drive.

Show your holiday spirit. Check our list and answer a wish from a needy neighbor.
        So far, 434 donors have contributed $35,463 to the Wish List. At the same time last year, $31,361 had been received from 383 donors.

        The project, which aids needy people in Greater Cincinnati, is administered by United Way.

        Mrs. Matthey, an 83-year-old Clermont County resident, has outlived her husband and two sons. She no longer owns the farmhouse that has been her home since the 1950s, but a life estate agreement allows her to stay there as long as she wishes.

        The home needs an electrical upgrade and water heater.

        Although the response from readers has been good, some people have been contacting Mrs. Matthey directly, rather than working through proper channels. In one case, she was promised certain items, but the agency that works with Mrs. Matthey doesn't know the potential donors' names, which makes it difficult to coordinate gifts.

        Anyone wishing to help Mrs. Matthey can call Linda Eppler at Clermont Senior Services, 513-536-4058. For information about making other Wish List donations, call 721-7900.

        One gift Mrs. Matthey knows she's getting: a new refrigerator. A couple, who wished to remain anonymous, is having it delivered. They also sent a gift basket with food and slippers.

        “She's thrilled about the refrigerator; she's in tears over it,” Ms. Eppler said.


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