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. The series continues daily until Dec. 23. To see previous stories, go to www.mailtribune.com/holidayneed.
Transformer toys, a telescope and art supplies are a few of the items wished for by this formerly homeless family.
Ann and her two boys lost their home over a year ago because hackers got into her bank accounts and spent all the money she had in checking and savings. Ann challenged all the charges but she was unable to catch up with her bills and rent. That led to an eviction from their east Medford rental home.
Ann, 6-year-old Dean and 9-year-old Edward spent the next year living in shelters. They stayed at St. Vincent De Paul twice and the Women's Gospel Mission once. They also "couch surfed" until they were contacted by Rogue Retreat in November 2011.
In June things got worse when Ann lost her job. She is looking for work and has decided to further her education by attending Rogue Community College starting in January.
Ann said Edward has severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Being homeless has not helped him in his studies or his home life. Dean has adjusted better. She calls him "Mommy's little trooper."
Since the family was accepted into Rogue Retreat's program, both of her boys have enrolled in new schools. Sharing a bedroom with each other instead of a space with many other individuals has helped. Ann said both boys are smiling more and laughing like they did before the incident last year.
Fourteen-year-old daughter, Lily, who lives with her father is doing well in school with a 3.5 grade-point average.
Because of the difficulty of finding employment, Ann said her children have only a few Dollar Tree gifts to share under the tree this year. Dean would love for Santa to bring him Transformers, Match Box cars or a Transformers movie. Edward wants a microscope, a telescope or anything to do with science. Lily loves Greek mythology items or anything artistic, such as paper, pens and markers.
Ann said her living unit at Rogue Retreat does not have a microwave, and being able to heat up cocoa or coffee or make popcorn would be great.
Ann said she feels blessed to have her young boys in a warm, safe, secure home, instead of living from shelter to shelter. She wishes everyone reading this a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
If you can help this family, call Michelle at 541-261-7582.