A Long and Winding Road Together

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Clockwise from upper left, Calif Green and his sons: Zaire, Ishmael, Calif Elijah and Isiah

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund has recently featured this Children’s Aid story by Jennifer Mascia about Calif Green and his life in constant motion, that it until he found The Children’s Aid Society.  Below is an excerpt from the original article.

The one constant in Calif Green’s 36 years has been motion.

A life that began in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, took him to North Carolina; Bay Ridge, Brooklyn; New Orleans; Atlanta; central Florida; prison; Macon, Ga.; Maryland; Key West, Fla.; a Harlem shelter; and ultimately, a three-bedroom apartment on the Rockaway peninsula so close to Kennedy Airport that, every three to five minutes, a plane will buzz the 11-story apartment building, its engines visible from the living room window.

“Throw a string up there high enough, you can take a little ride,” Mr. Green joked.

A father by the time he was 16, Mr. Green endured quite a bit before he settled into this 10th-floor apartment, including several “wild years,” a volatile marriage and the birth of six children, one of whom died in infancy. A series of breakups and reunions with his wife prompted their serial relocation, until his imprisonment for aggravated assault in 2002.

After his release he joined his wife and children in Macon, but in 2006 a construction job took him to Maryland. His daughter and sons stayed in Macon with their mother, who suffered from mental illness and would disappear for days at a time to abuse drugs, he said.

When Mr. Green’s wife was arrested for assault and put behind bars, the boys were evicted and their things thrown into the street. Empty-handed, they went to stay with their maternal grandmother in Macon. But as soon as Mr. Green earned enough money for bus fare, he sent for his sons. One by one he was reunited with Calif Elijah, now 18; Ishmael, 17; Isiah, 16; and Zaire, 14. (His daughter opted to live in North Carolina with her boyfriend and infant son.)

Read more.

To learn how you can make a difference for this family and many others, please link over to The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund or contact:

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund
230 West 41st Street
Suite 1300
New York, NY 10036
(800) 381-0075


Photo courtesy of Julie Glassberg for The New York Times