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Charity helps carrier after child gets sick

Cleveland Letter Carrier Israel Lopez with his son, Alex
Cleveland Letter Carrier Israel Lopez and his son Alex, who is doing well after developing a viral infection as a newborn.

Israel Lopez is thankful for the help his family received from a Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity eight years ago.

In 2010, Lopez’s 6-week-old son, Alex, developed a viral infection that led to a week-long stay at the Cleveland Clinic.

Lopez, a Cleveland letter carrier, and his wife, Leeanna, didn’t want to leave the hospital, but they also needed some rest.

They then learned about Ronald McDonald House, an organization that offers family rooms at hospitals for those who want to stay close to their sick children.

“Most families unwind and relax there before going back to spend time with their child,” said Lopez, a 12-year postal employee.

Each Ronald McDonald House room offers a sleeper sofa, a kitchen area, a TV, internet access and a shower, among other amenities.

“When you’re facing these kinds of circumstances, it’s incredible what having a place to brush your teeth can do,” Lopez said.

Today, Alex is doing well and is a “typical 8-year-old,” according to Lopez, who added that wrestling and doing Fortnite dances are two of his son’s favorite activities.

To show his appreciation for the help his family received, Lopez contributes to the Ronald McDonald House and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, two of the more than 8,000 charities participating in this year’s CFC campaign, which concludes Friday, Jan. 11.

“You still have time to learn about charities right in your community that could use your help to keep doing great work,” said Kathleen Harper, a human resources program and policy analyst who oversees the Postal Service’s CFC efforts.

The CFC Blue and LiteBlue pages have guidelines on contributing to the campaign.

Lopez encourages colleagues to consider donating to a CFC charity.

“We’re called to give,” he said. “All of us have found a time in our life when we needed help with something.”

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