LIMA — For many people, the Christmas season can be exhausting, with gifts to buy and dinners and parties to organize. For some families, however, Christmas, like any other time of the year, is simply another day to try to get by.
Such is the case with Anne and her husband, Josh. Anne came into their relationship with a daughter, while Josh came in with three of his own. Three of the older children do not live with them currently, but after having two more children together, Anne and Josh still have a full house with Candy, 13; Darnell, 6; Danielle, 4; and Connor, 2. Unfortunately, due to some issues with public assistance, the family is unable to receive food stamps, leaving Anne and Josh to have to pay for everything out of pocket, which is even harder now given the rising cost of food.
“We spend $600 to $800 a month in food out of pocket,” Anne said.
Both Anne and Josh work, but with only one working vehicle after their second car was totaled in an accident and Josh working in a different county, getting to work can be difficult, with Anne often having to walk to her job.
“We can’t be in two places at the same time,” Anne said. “It’s hard. It’s stressful and it’s draining.”
Anne and Josh also look after Josh‘s grandmother, who recently came to live with them due to recurring health concerns.
“At her last stay at the hospital, we just said, ‘Listen, we’ll take her with us and we’ll make sure she’s taken care of,’” Anne said. “We do it every day. I don’t know how.”
Add to all of this Anne’s bipolar disorder, which requires constant medication, and this has left the family more concerned with meeting their day-to-day needs than thinking about Christmas.
“We’ve got the bare necessities,” Anne said. “So when I was asked about going to [the Salvation Army], what do I have to lose? I’m taking every chance and opportunity that’s coming my way, because it’s not about me. It’s about my kids.”
Being a little older, Candy is not into toys so much, but she could use some new clothes. She wears size 13-15 pants and adult medium or adult large shirts. She also wears women’s size 8 shoes.
“She loves the name brands, like Nike and Pink,” Anne said. “But at this point, it doesn’t matter. Whatever she can get, she gets. She also has a PS4 and likes to play the Sims games.”
Darnell wears size 10-12 clothes and medium youth size shirts, along with boys size 5 ½ shoes.
“He loves Jordans, Nike, Champion, all those things,” Anne said. “He’s asked me about a Batman action figure house shaped like his mask. He’s into sports, like football and soccer.”
Danielle wears size 5-6 clothes in both shirts and pants, along with size 10 shoes.
“She is a Minnie Mouse fanatic,” Anne said.
Connor wears size 3T clothes and size 8 shoes.
“The little man is into ‘Paw Patrol,’” Anne said. “Chase and Rubble are his favorites.”
When asked about any needs she or Josh had, Anne said she was more concerned about helping the kids than thinking about things for themselves.
“I’d just be happy with some new plastic [insulating film] for the windows,” she said.
ADOPT A STOCKING
The Adopt a Stocking Fund benefits families during the holiday season. Monetary donations can be given online at give.salvationarmy.org/stocking or via Adopt A Stocking; c/o The Salvation Army; P.O. Box 234, Lima, OH 45801. All material donations for a specific family should be dropped off at The Salvation Army, 614 E. Market St., Lima, and should include a copy of the article or the date the story appeared in The Lima News. See past stories at LimaOhio.com/tag/stocking.