Last updated: August 22. 2013 9:47PM - 193 Views

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LIMA — Not many people would do what Jana has done, taking on six children on top of her own two to make sure they are raised as a family.One of her relative's was in a world of trouble and deemed unfit. The children were legally taken from the relative and unless a family member stepped up, the children likely would have been placed in foster care and split up, Jana said.“They are family and I have been there since day one helping out with them. They would have been split up. I couldn't let them go to someone else,” Jana said.So Jana opened her heart and her home to the six children, Terri, 9, Lori, 6; Julie, 5; Chris, 3; Jordan, 2; and Steve, 1, to live with her and her two children, Dan, 15; Tony, 8. “They are all my children. I don't see a difference,” she said.She also gave up her job and has been a single mother since she and the father of her children, Scott, split.“It hurts me that I can't provide for them like I want to,” Jana said. “It's depressing that I am not able to work and afford more.”While not working goes against everything she believes in, Jana said it's just not an option with the young children needing care. “This, right now, is my full-time job,” Jana said. Jana wants nothing more than to give all her children a good Christmas but fears that is in jeopardy because of her lack of income. She survives on public assistance and Social Security the children receive. She's just hoping to find a way to get each child a present, she said. “As far as doing Christmas it's going to be small,” Jana said. Jana doesn't like to share her struggles with the children. She wants to try to keep their childhood as happy as possible without worrying about grown-up problems. “I don't think my kids ever knew when I was struggling but I was always able to pull it off. This year I don't think I'm going to pull it off too well,” Jana 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 www.limaohio.com/emptystocking. These stories use assumed names to protect the participants' privacy.You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.

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