Sisters could use a little joy this holiday

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 Dec. 22.

Gift cards for clothes and books, and perhaps some household items, will help these two young girls and the family who cares for them have a happier holiday season.

Trinity started life the hard way, born to abusive parents who both battled with alcohol and drug abuse.

She moved to her first foster home at age 3, after witnessing domestic violence between her parents. Her father bounced in and out of jail on a regular basis for abuse and drug problems. Her parents, however, stayed together long enough to bring around a younger sibling.

Now a fifth-grader, Trinity's involvement with Kids Unlimited has been a stabilizing experience. She recounts how she became a surrogate guardian for her baby sister, Selena.

On one particularly awful evening when Trinity was 4 years old, she tried to change 2-year-old Selena's diaper. Trinity attempted to bathe and entertain the toddler while her parents slept off the influence of a night poorly spent. The fall-out for both girls was pain. Selena suffered bumps, bruises and hot water burns. When the parents woke up, they repeatedly slapped, spanked and scolded Trinity for going near Selena.

Her parents eventually split in 2006. Their father continued to show up unannounced, bringing additional hurt and offering new scars with each visit. The girls' lives continued in this pattern until 2008, when both children were placed with family members who could care for them without abuse. They began a new life at a new school.

But they still suffer from anxiety and stress. They rarely see their mother. Their father died last summer. A childhood friend of Trinity's has also recently died.

The girls would appreciate gift cards to stores where Kids Unlimited chaperones could help them pick out a few items. If you can help, call Beatrice at 541-774-3900.

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