LIMA — Sue has four children of her own, one child that she has guardianship over, and her cousin and his two children just moved in with her because he had no where else to go.
“There are nine people in this house,” Sue said.
While things have been tough, they’ve gotten a lot tougher since Sue’s employer cut her hours back. She had to get a vehicle, so now she has a van payment as well as a house payment. With her hours at work getting cut, she doesn’t bring home enough for Christmas for the kids.
Sue never married the father of her four kids, but they had been together more than 15 years before a car accident took his life. Her youngest son was just months old when his dad died.
Nine months later, Sue and her sister were driving back from Indian Lake, and a person ran a stop sign. Sue tried stopping, but her car t-boned the other car. Her 19-year-old sister died from this accident, leaving two children, a boy age 3and a boy age 5 months.
“The father of her youngest is raising him,” Sue said. “I’m raising her oldest because his dad hasn’t been able to get his life on track,” she added.
Then in October her cousin lost his job and had no where to go. Sue opened her home and heart to him and his two children, ages 4 and 2.
Sue’s oldest daughter is 16, and just began driving. She could use gas cards and clothes. She is a junior size 7 in pants and wears a large in a top.
Her 11-year-old daughter wants a baby doll. “She’s been playing with the two-year-old little girl, and now wants a doll so that she can play dolls with her,” Sue said. She wears a size 10 1/2 plus in kids pants and wears a size 16-18 in shirts or a junior size 3-4 in shirts.
Her 10-year-old daughter wants a boy doll. “She actually just wants a doll in blue clothes,” Sue said. “My mom and I have been looking at boy dolls, and they come anatomically correct. We don’t want that,” Sue said. She wears a size 10 slim in pants and a 10-12 shirt.
Her youngest son is eight years old. He wants a Bop It game, Nerf gun and WWE wrestlers. He wears a size 10 regular in pants, a size 10-12 in shirts and could use some new tennis shoes, size 2 wide.
Her 10-year-old nephew would like Match Box cars and play guns. “He likes to hunt, and has hunted with a neighbor, but I don’t want to get him a real gun at this point,” Sue said. He wears a size 10 slim in pants and a 10-12 shirt. He could use some tennis shoes as well, and wears a size 2.
Her cousin’s children, a boy and a girl are also in need of Christmas.
His son, age four, likes Transformers and Lego’s. He wears a size 5 in pants and a size 6 shirt. He needs tennis shoes, and wears a size 11.
His two-year-old daughter wants Barbie dolls, baby dolls and likes princess dolls. She likes to play tea and could use a tea set and play food. She wears a size 4 toddler in pants and a 3 toddler in shirts. She is being potty trained and could use some panties, size 4.
The children all have a DS game system, but only have two games to share between the five of them. They could use some extra games. They are in need of Game Boy games, as some of the DS games do not fit their DS systems.
“I have always struggled a little, but just not as hard as this year,” Sue said.
The Empty Stocking Fund benefits three cooperating agencies: Bradfield Community Center, Cheryl Allen Southside Community Center and the Salvation Army. Money can be donated by sending it to The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima OH 45807, or by dropping it off at any Superior Federal Credit Union branch. Donations of new toys and nonperishable food items will be accepted at The Lima News office. For past stories, go to LimaOhio.com/emptystocking. These stories use assumed names to protect the participants’ privacy.