This morning, Michael and Maddie introduced the SouthCoast to Barbara Oliveira for the first day of Holiday Wish Week with the United Way of Greater New Bedford.

Barbara is the grandmother and guardian to eight-year-old Jasmine, who was diagnosed with a neurological disease called dyspraxia and suffers from Type 1 diabetes. Recently, Barbara lost her job of 23 years due to COVID-19 cutbacks. Barbara is often left wondering where her next meal will come from or how she will pay off her mortgage after her unemployment checks stop coming in at the end of this month.

Her only wish was for a better year, but after hearing about her car and her temperamental refrigerator, we knew her wish list was bigger than the LOL dollhouse that Jasmine wanted.

After Michael and Maddie shared Barbara’s story, the phone lines began to light up with dozens of eager listeners, ready to make a holiday wish come true.

Lindsay Bates of Used Tire Warehouse called in to donate $500.

Amanda from Whalers Cove Assisted Living called in to donate $500 more.

Araujo Brothers Plumbing and Heating picked up the phone and also donated $500, but took it one step further. They will also be donating $500 to each family that we feature this week.

Flavia from Avalon Medical Spa heard Barbara’s story and decided to set up a special “Seize the Deal” of 50 gift certificates with an $80 value for the price of $40, and all the money raised will go straight to the Oliveiras.

Dr. Souza from Souza Family Orthodontics called and wasted no time in telling Michael and Maddie what she would like to donate, saying she was incredibly moved by Barbara’s story. Jasmine and Barbara will be getting a brand-new refrigerator, dishwasher, and LOL dollhouse thanks to Dr. Souza.

Calls kept flowing in all morning with people who wanted to make a difference in the life of this family. The morning show was extremely moved by day one’s success with Holiday Wish.

There is still time to donate, and here is how:

Text to Donate: Text WISHES to 313131. You will be sent a United Way e-link that allows you to make a donation via credit card to this family when you select the day and date of which family you wish to help from the drop-down menu.

By Check: Make checks payable to the United Way of Greater New Bedford and in the memo line, write HOLIDAY WISH and the day and date of the family you wish to help. Checks can be mailed to United Way of Greater New Bedford, 128 Union Street, Suite 105, New Bedford, MA 02740.

Donate by Credit Card: You can make a secure donation to the United Way via credit card HERE. Select the day and date of the family you wish to help from the "Please Select a Family" drop-down menu.

All of our families are pre-selected through the United Way of Greater New Bedford. If you are in need of assistance, please contact the United Way directly.

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