Tom’s Door charity gets used car donated for woman in need |

Tom’s Door charity gets used car donated for woman in need

Pete FowlerPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Pete Fowler A group of Tom's Door volunteers assemble greeting cards at a recent meeting.

Traveling regularly to Utah for her son’s medical appointments, Debbie Natichioni found it difficult to keep a job.Her 12-year-old son, Mario, was born with a short arm and two missing fingers. On top of that, Natichioni said, he’s been recently diagnosed with spinal bifida – an incompletely formed spinal cord – and suffered a severed nerve during surgery.But with the help of Tom’s Door, she said she’s better able to deal with the situation.”He had about 30 surgeries, and I am constantly going down to Salt Lake City with him,” she said. “He stays down there for so long, he ends up going to school in the hospital and things like that. It’s really hard for me to stay employed.”Natichioni learned of the Tom’s Door charity when her mother contacted the organization. It helped her pay one month of rent at her place in Glenwood Springs while Natichioni was out of town, Natichioni said. With the medical costs and travel, it was hard to keep up.

“People don’t want to hire you on and then you have to leave four or five times a year for a month,” she said.Natichioni said she takes her son to Salt Lake City, Utah, because that’s where the best treatment is available for her son’s conditions.Natichioni called Rosie McSwain, founder of Tom’s Door, recently when she had trouble keeping up on car payments. McSwain said she put up a bulletin at St. Mary’s Church in Carbondale, and someone donated a car within a week. It’s a 1985 Mercury, Natichioni said.”I had a different car, but what’s happening is I have to get rid of it because I can’t keep making the car payments,” she said. “We just keep slipping way behind and way behind and way behind.”There’s really no words for people like them,” she added. “They’re saints. It’s amazing. You don’t see a lot of people do that kind of stuff anymore, and we’re truly lucky to have people like them in the valley.”Tom’s Door, helping people from Rifle to Aspen, is supported primarily through donations. But it’s also supported through sales of seasonal greeting cards with photos from about 15 “amazing” local photographers, McSwain said. Post Independent photographer Kelley Cox is among those whose work is featured. Tom’s Door also accepts some local photo submissions from others. Cards are available for $3 each in about 20 retail businesses and six churches.

McSwain said the cards netted about $25,000 last year while donations reached $100,000. Every cent received goes back out the door as charity, she added. Tom’s Door gave emergency assistance to 219 families last year. It comes in many forms, but a typical example would be a $300 donation toward short-term rent or a rental deposit for people in need who can use it to better their lives. McSwain said Catholic Charities helps disperse some of the money.This week, around 20 of 50 total volunteers worked like Santa’s elves to tape photos onto about 1,000 cards in preparation for the winter season and Christmas.McSwain, a retired nurse, founded Tom’s Door in 2001 in honor of three Toms that were leading local parishes at the time: Father Tom Bradtke, Father Tom McCormick and Monsignor Tom Dentici.”I just felt like there was something that I would like to do just to be involved in the community and help people,” she said.”It’s just incredible what (McSwain) does and what Tom’s Door does,” Natichioni said. “It’s just amazing. They are just incredible people. They’ve really helped us. I didn’t know how I was going to do it.”

Anyone who wants to learn more, donate, view or purchase the cards can call McSwain at 704-3282 or visit Pete Fowler: 384-9121pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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