Simple gifts can help heal this family's wounds

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.

For Cindy and her two children, a skateboard, a few books and some cooking supplies would add a little Christmas spirit after a frightening period in their lives.

Cindy was thrilled when she met a man two years earlier who seemed to adore her and her two teenage children. The four of them lived together for a time, until he began getting drunk and abusing her.

One night he pinned Cindy against the wall, beat her and threatened to kill her if she tried to leave.

Their neighbor heard her yelling for help and called the police. Officers took Cindy to Dunn House. They took her boyfriend to jail on assault charges.

A month later, Cindy's bruises have healed. And, with the help of Community Works staff and volunteers, Cindy has put together a great resume, interviewed for jobs and recently was hired.

After she receives her first paycheck, she and her children can move into an apartment. The family, however, has a tight holiday budget and could use some help.

Jennifer, 14, loves to write and would like journals. She's also an avid reader and could use gift cards to Barnes & Noble or other book stores. She also likes to make bracelets.

Mark, 16, loves to hang out with his friends skateboarding, but does not own his own skateboard and would like one. He also loves movies and would like Tinseltown gift cards.

Cindy would like basic kitchen and cooking supplies. She says baking makes her happy.

To help this family, contact Gerry at Community Works at 541-779-2393, ext. 222.

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