LIMA — The pandemic took away her job. A double ear infection and a severe case of vertigo took away her ability to drive to a new one and now Crystal also finds herself pregnant. Oops.
The unemployment checks have stopped and bills have started to pile up; that’s the bad news. The good news is that Crystal’s boyfriend has moved to Lima from Florida to help out both financially and emotionally. He’s got a job here and is excited about their baby, his first, that’s due in May.
Crystal was working through a temp agency at a factory until the coronavirus halted production there earlier this year. She started receiving unemployment and when workers were recalled, Crystal was ready to go back to work — only to find that child care was unavailable as the pandemic spread throughout the community.
She found part-time work at a general store before vertigo, coupled with her pregnancy, caused her family physician to restrict her from driving. That’s when her boyfriend moved in to help with the growing backlog of bills.
His paycheck, said Crystal, goes primarily to helping the family of five dig out from under its debt.
“Luckily we’ve been able to get on payment plans with the utilities and that helps, but it’s still hard” trying to make sure her three children have a merry Christmas while also making plans for a new arrival in the spring. Any gesture of kindness from the community “definitely wouldn’t hurt,” she said.
Crystal’s oldest child, her 9-year-old daughter, has asthma and is currently being home-schooled out of health concerns associated with COVID-19. Crystal’s 8-year-old son attends school while a 2-year-old daughter requires constant attention around the home.
The young girl, in the midst of a growth spurt, “is in desperate need of clothes,” said her mother. Size 3T for the 2-year-old and sizes 9/10 for the older children should suffice. Boots in size 3 would also come in handy.
As far as toys go, “the youngest likes anything that makes noise and she loves doll babies while the older children are fond of arts and crafts,” she said.
Crystal said she has no personal or household needs as Christmas approaches.
“It’s all about the kids.”