LIMA — Britney is the kind of mom who likes to do things with her kids. As a result of an unfortunate accident while doing just that, she now fears that Christmas will be lacking for her three children.
Life had already dealt Britney a few bad breaks — a former boyfriend who walked away from the relationship and took almost all of her possessions with him, and some family members who were charging her an arm and a leg for temporary lodging in their home — when things got even worse.
Britney and the kids were roller skating in Lima earlier this year when she fell, breaking every bone in her ankle in the process. After a five-hour surgery, she was on the mend when another fall resulted in another surgery, leaving her unable to work, per doctor’s orders.
She has been forced to rely on government assistance and Social Security disability payments received by her 9-year-old son, who was born with XYY Syndrome, a genetic condition in which a male has an extra Y chromosome. The condition affects the boy’s muscular functions, speech and learning capabilities.
Britney was paying relatives $500 per month in rent, leaving precious little money for remaining day-to-day expenses.
After applying for acceptance in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan, or PIPP, which helps low-income persons pay their bills, her application was accepted, and new housing was arranged for the family. Britney now spends far less each month on rent than she did previously, but her inability to work nonetheless has left funds tight as Christmas approaches.
“I just got out of a walking boot about a month ago, and I still can’t stand for any length of time,” Britney said. “I’m trying to make a nice Christmas for the kids. Their father is not part of their lives, and they haven’t had a good Christmas for several years because of my financial struggles.”
Clothes and toys for her son, age 9, and daughters aged 10 and 11 are on Britney’s wish list: size 10 shirts and pants and size 5 1/2 shoes for her son; size 10/12 pants and shirt and a size 6 shoe for one daughter and size 14/16 pants and shirts with a size 8 shoe for the other daughter.
Britney sleeps on a mattress on the floor, so a bed frame would be appreciated. She has no clothes dryer, and her washer has no hoses to make it operable.
“It’s a struggle this time of year. I just want to give my kids a better life,” Britney said. “I would appreciate anything and everything people could donate. Every little bit helps.”