Editor's note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or agency that could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need. The series continues daily until Wednesday, Dec. 22.
Christmas ornaments, toys, a cookbook and a camera would help this mom and her two daughters have a happy holiday.
Tears fill Shirley's eyes as she talks about her two daughters and Christmas. It's been a hard year. In May, Shirley found out that her husband was abusing her 12-year old daughter Amy — his stepdaughter.
For several years Shirley's husband had been verbally and physically abusive towards her. She tried to keep the reality of his abuse from the girls. But when Amy revealed he had abused her, Shirley was shocked, ashamed and filled with grief.
But that was also the day Shirley met with a Community Works Dunn House outreach advocate and her life began to change. The advocate helped Shirley and the girls find safe shelter.
Shirley smiles as she speaks of the little apartment they now live in. Shirley works, earning enough to cover the bills, without much for any extras.
Shirley would like to be able to decorate the house for Christmas. When she left her husband, he destroyed their decorations. She and the girls love stars, snow people, blue and silver. They have room for a small tree.
Amy would like to have a hair kit and hair accessories. She would also like to learn to cook dinner for her mom and sister, and would appreciate a simple cookbook.
Ten-year old Ellen is hoping for some Littlest Pet Shop creatures and playset. She also loves art and hopes for a set of Bendaroos.
Shirley had a hard time answering questions about what she would like for Christmas. She is grateful for the safety and support she has received. But an inexpensive camera and a gift card for developing pictures would help her collect her family's new good memories.
To help this family, contact Gerry at Community Works at 541-779-2393, ext. 222.