LIMA — It had already been a difficult year for Darlene, a 42-year-old Lima woman. When doctors discovered a mass on her liver three years ago during complications from a hysterectomy, she was found to have a disorder that to this day makes it difficult for her to work. Raising her 11-year-old daughter immediately became even more stressful than it ordinarily would have been.
Then in January, she was forced out of the government-subsidized residence she had called home for 14 years.
“When you’re in the Section 8 program and have lived in a place for 15 years, you have the option to purchase the home if you’re able,” Darlene said. “Then in October of last year I got a letter saying I had to leave the home in January. I lost my voucher, although I am appealing that decision.”
But in the meantime there was the matter of putting a roof over the head of the family. Darlene and her youngest daughter are currently living with her 22-year-old daughter and two young grandchildren.
“We’re most definitely going through some hard times right now,” she said.
With her immune system already weakened by the pre-existing liver condition and the lack of a gall bladder, Darlene just last week got another dose of terrible news when she tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’m terrified because of the virus,” she said.
Unable to work to provide a merry Christmas for her children and grandchildren, Darlene said the household — which currently totals two adults and three youngsters — would appreciate any charitable assistance the community is willing to offer.
Food, along with personal hygiene products and household goods, would be a good start. Clothing for all the children and some simple toys for the younger ones would also be appreciated. The family’s oven is currently inoperable, and a replacement range would be welcomed.
Darlene’s 11-year-old wears size 14-16 pants, medium shirts, size 7 1/2 boots and shoes and an extra large coat. She needs a new laptop to do schoolwork.
Her grandsons wear sizes 5T and 4T pants and shirts.
As far as toys go, “They love Spider-Man stuff, and the oldest said he’d like a tablet to do learning stuff on.”