Family of 9 struggles to make ends meet after daughter's death

Monday, November 23, 2020
Family of 9 needs community's help after daughter's death
This family of nine, led by great grandmother Cecilia Diaz, has faced many tragedies recently, including the death of her daughter. Now, Diaz is reaching out for help.

SOUTH HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A great grandmother is struggling to keep her family afloat after losing her daughter, and a local volunteer with Americorps SBP is calling on the community to help her family.

Cecilia Diaz has three generations living under one roof, bringing the household to a total of nine. This includes Diaz, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. The family was devastated last year when Diaz's daughter died after battling several health conditions.

To add to the burden, her home was falling apart. The home is more than 40 years old and was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.

"I didn't know what to do," Diaz said. "I had to take care of the kids and my daughter was gone."

Diaz reached out for help with Americorps SBP where Client Service Coordinator Atilana Chavez was assigned to her case.

"Then, we went into this huge pandemic and so the things that I would normally do, I was not able to do, like come to her house," Chavez said. "We just got recently the okay to start going working out in the field."

Over the course of several weeks, the organization repaired the Diaz family home.

"They would say, 'We miss home,'" Diaz said, of the young children, between ages 2 and 6.

This week, Chavez decided to pay a visit to the family and realized a lot more work needed to be done. The family didn't have enough beds for the family or furniture for all of them to eat at the table together.

She reached out to Pancho Claus who shared the story and people started calling, asking how they could help.

It was overwhelming," Chavez said. "People from Houston, and all over really, and I said, 'Thank God,' because the family really needs it."

Chavez shared her own personal story with ABC13 and explained why her connection to the family grew instantly.

"I was in a car accident back in November 2018, I almost lost my life," Chavez said. "So, when I heard her story and she told me about her daughter passing away, I was like that could have been me, but it wasn't. I'm here."

Chavez wants to help create a Christmas miracle for the family. She started a GoFundMe page and is asking for donations: furniture, clothes, toys, or Christmas gifts for the children.

As of Monday morning, the GoFundMe has raised over $11,000.

"I feel so so happy," Diaz said. "Even though I feel nervous stress, still stress and everything but it's a blessing."

Chavez said those who want help can donate or give her a call 832-857-0427.

"We looked around and we were like, 'You know what? We want to do a little bit more," Chavez said. "Give her a little Christmas. The children they need it and this is one of my many clients that actually needs help. There's so many more of my clients with Americorps SBP that need help as well."

The organization Americorps SBP is always looking for volunteers or people in need of help.

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