Last updated: August 24. 2013 4:48PM - 100 Views

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LIMA — Marcy has always been able to provide a good Christmas for her 11-year-old daughter. A diabetes diagnosis two years ago and a series of hospital visits later, and the single mother is finding it hard to make ends meet.She works 40 hours a week, more when there’s work to do and she can physically handle it. The job pays slightly better than minimum wage. Marcy, not her real name, said because it’s just the two of them in the household, she’s been denied getting help elsewhere. She’s turned to The Lima News’ Empty Stocking Fund this year hoping to provide something for her daughter.“It’s not about my pride. Everybody needs help one day,” Marcy said. “I’m not afraid to ask for help when I need it. I was just afraid I’d get turned away like everywhere else.”The diagnosis two years ago and the mounting medical bills have forced Marcy to often choose which bills get paid and which ones slide until the disconnect notice arrives. Some months, the household has to skimp on food and medicine.“It seems like I keep trying but I can’t ever get caught up,” she said. “I try to work more overtime. The more I work, the more taxes they take. I can’t get anywhere.”Marcy lost some of her support network along the way, too. Her great-grandmother passed away not long after the diagnosis. Her great-grandmother helped with money when she could and watched Marcy’s daughter.“That was hard,” she said.Marcy said what’s made it easier this year is having a mature, 11-year-old who understands things may be different this holiday season.“She’s used to having a good Christmas. I told her Christmas this year is not going to be like it used to,” Marcy said. “She said she understands. That made me feel good.”Still, Marcy said she doesn’t like that her daughter has to know the family is struggling to make ends meet.“She shouldn’t have to worry about that. It’s the parents’ responsibility to take care of that,” she said. “Her responsibility is to go to school and take care of that.”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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