LIMA — Two years after an unexpected stroke took Sarah out of the workforce early, this single mother of six is struggling to support her family alone.
Sarah (not her real name) learned her fate in November, when it became apparent that her hands could no longer grip parts and her balance had not improved enough to work her old assembly line job despite the two years she spent in recovery.
And with no incoming child or familial support, Sarah is left with her own ingenuity and the generosity of friends and strangers to sustain her family amid a pandemic that has thrown many families into their own difficult times.
The holidays are yet another stark reminder that Sarah can’t do it all on her own.
She’s often left with difficult choices: how can she buy new tires for her minivan when she can’t even keep up with the bills? How will she care for her youngest children, still toddlers, after suffering a stroke? And where will she find the money to buy her six kids a few presents so they don’t wake up to an empty tree?
“It’s literally just me,” she said.
The family needs clothes, a few gifts for the holidays and tires for Sarah’s minivan. Groceries for the kids would help too, as it’s hard to keep six kids full even with food stamps.
Her oldest son wears a men’s large shirt and medium pants, while her other sons wear boys’ 2X and boys’ 8 clothing.
Her eldest daughter wears a size 10, while her other two daughters wear toddler 6T and 5T clothing.
The children all need new coats and gloves for the winter, as well as new shoes: Size 10 in men’s for the oldest son; size 4 and 1 in boys for the youngest sons; and for the girls, sizes 3, 11 and 12 in girls’ shoes.
The kids, who range from age 3 to 12, need gifts for Christmas, as Sarah doesn’t know that she will be able to provide. The youngest children like Paw Patrol, while the three girls like babies, Barbies and “anything a diva would like.”