WESTFIELD, NJ — A family of seven is struggling to make ends meet while caring for their 17-year-old son, who suffered a stroke as a result of chemotherapy for leukemia. While his mother spends her days driving him to and from the hospital for therapy and his father travels more than an hour away to work, his 15-year-old sister attends school via video conference and helps out with their three-year-old brother and twin nine-year-old brother an sister.

The Paul Jackson Fund (PJF), a Westfield-based charity that helps families in financial crisis due to illness and injury, has helped this Southern New Jersey family pay their bills, and now PJF Director of Development Mary Doherty said she is hoping the community will pitch in to help make life easier for them as school begins this September.

The children need backpacks, school supplies and new and gently used clothing in the following sizes:

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Boy - 5T
Boy - 14/16
Girl - Small women or M/L Junior
Girl - 22/24 (adult size)
Boy - 4-5XL (adult size)

Bring donations to the Paul Jackon Fund’s office, 223 Elmer Street, Westfield.  Walmart gift cards in any denomination are also appreciated, as they can be used for grocery shopping and school uniforms.

The PJF helps dozens of families like this one throughout the tri-state area each year.

“We can’t do this job without the support of the community,” said Doherty. “I’m grateful to everyone for allowing us to do this.”

In October, the PJF will host its 5th annual 5K/2 Mile Walk/Kids Fun Run at Oak Ridge Park. For more information and to register, click here.