Empty Stocking: Fire doesn’t break family bond


By Lance Mihm - lmihm@civitasmedia.com



The Empty Stocking Fund benefits three cooperating agencies, Bradfield Community Center, Mizpah 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 Credit Union branch. Donations of new toys and nonperishable food items will be accepted at The Lima News office. These stories use assumed names to protect the participants’ privacy.

LIMA — Tisha, a single mom with three young boys, admits she has never been rich. Still, she earned in income enough to rent a nice home and provide for her children.

That was when disaster struck the family earlier this year. Tisha said the home had faulty electrical wiring, and she had approached her landlord about the problem. It was never addressed, and one day while the family was gone, the home was completely destroyed.

“We feel very fortunate that we just lost things, and not one of us,” Tisha said.

The fire immediately left Tisha and her family standing on the outside, as her landlord’s insurance company and her renter’s insurance squabble over who is liable for the situation. In the meanwhile, Tisha and the boys moved in with Tisha’s mother while they try to find housing. They stayed at a hotel until money simply began to run out.

“It was nice to have someplace to go,” Tisha said. “However, I am 35. You still want your own place. You want to be taking care of your own affairs.”

To complicate the matters, Tisha is a seasonal worker, so she is off work until the weather warms again. She has told the boys that Christmas may be a little different that what they are used to. What presents Tisha had already purchased for the children were destroyed in the fire, along with all their personal belongings.

“The youngest child is 4 years old and not quite old enough to understand what is going on,” Tisha said. “He keeps asking when we are going home.”

The oldest boy, Chase, is 16. He said most of his fellow students at his high school have been very supportive.

“I have a very supportive school,” Chase said. “They have been supportive.”

The school had a fundraiser and was able to take care of some basic needs for the family. However, they are still looking to replace everyday needs, mainly clothing.

Tisha wears a size 11 women’s shirt and size 14 pants. She wears size nine in women’s shoes.

Chase wears a size 14 shoe, size 34-36 pants and adult medium shirts. Ten-year-old Dakota wears size 6 shoes, a size 16-18 boys shirt and 16-18 boys size pants. The 4-year-old wears size 11 youth shoes and 4-5 clothes.

“We lost all of our things, but we still have us,” Tisha said. “Hopefully, someone will call with an open apartment soon. For now, we feel blessed at what we have available.”

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By Lance Mihm

lmihm@civitasmedia.com

The Empty Stocking Fund benefits three cooperating agencies, Bradfield Community Center, Mizpah 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 Credit Union branch. Donations of new toys and nonperishable food items will be accepted at The Lima News office. These stories use assumed names to protect the participants’ privacy.

Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter@LanceMihm

Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter@LanceMihm

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