I‘ve written a couple of times about Cassie Stromer, the Virginia woman profiled in a New Yorker article by Susan Sheehan. Cassie, after years of working until her health gave out, is no longer able to pay her $58/month Medicare premium or get her dentures repaired on her pension income. Several readers wanted to send her cheques, but were concerned that she, or her mail, could be burgled if people knew she was getting money in the mail. I’ve finally got some more information, which the author provided to the Virginia Poverty Law Center, a non-profit organization working on behalf of the state’s low-income families. Susan told them that mail to Cassie’s address (Mt. Vernon House, 8199 Tiswell Drive, Alexandria VA 22306-3286) is reliable, the home is in a well-policed area, that Cassie will only use any money sent to her for true necessities, and that Cassie’s daughter is acknowledging all checks because Cassie’s neuropathy and macular degeneration makes it too hard for her to write thank you letters.

If you’ve sent a cheque to Cassie based on my earlier article, and you haven’t received back an acknowledgment from Cassie’s daughter, please let me know (and also send a letter to the above address to that effect). Otherwise, if you’ve been holding back, it’s probably OK to send something to the above address. It sounds as if a few, but not many, readers researched the address and sent her small donations. So much for Cassie’s fifteen minutes of fame.

Wouldn’t it be a supreme irony, and an indication of how insane the system is, if the government eliminated Cassie’s rent subsidy on learning that a few New Yorker readers were sending her some money to pay for medical emergencies?

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