LIMA — Jackie and her family need help now, but the the single mother of five says she will give back some day.
“I plan to give back,” she said. “And hopefully they will learn from our experiences and struggles and give back, too.”
Jackie is enrolled at Rhodes State College, but is looking for scholarships or other help to get through the rest. She went to school off and on for awhile, but decided to enroll full time and really focus on her education after her children came along.
“That really pushed me to go full time,” she said. “So we can have a good life and so we can give back. So I can send my kids to college one day. “
Jackie works for a temporary agency, but doesn’t always get a lot of hours, meaning she lives paycheck to paycheck and keeping up with bills is a struggle.
What she makes goes to necessities such as food, diapers and clothing. That is also where any extra money she has for Christmas presents will go, instead of toys and things her children really want.
“I can’t afford the toys and things they really hope for,” she said. “And that hurts my feelings. It is why I am going to school, to make it up to them some day and make them proud of me.”
Jackie, who gets limited child support and food stamps, knows an education will mean a better life for her family. She has her sights set on purchasing a home some day. More immediately, she needs a vehicle. It has been two years since her last one broke down for good. Now she depends on family and friends to help out with rides.
While it is tough and Christmas will be slim, Jackie’s children support her. They ask how school is going and when she will graduate.
“It would just really mean a lot to me to see a big smile on their faces,” she said. “They are so appreciative. They don’t complain.They are really good kids and they deserve a good Christmas.”
Jackie’s girls like dolls, Barbies and makeup. Her edest needs a cellphone because she waits at the bus stop along with her younger siblings. The boys love bikes, basketball and learning toys. The oldest has s PSP gaming system — a gift from a grandparent — but doesn’t have many games.
The children can always use clothes. The girls wear sizes 12 and 8. The boys are in sizes 8, 5-6 and 2T.