Little 'hero' has found his voice

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.

A television and art supplies would paint a happier holiday for this disabled, abused and desperate young boy nominated by the Children's Advocacy Center.

Josh was born with autism, which immediately placed him into the highest category of being sexually abused. And he was, said Marlene Mish, CAC director.

Not only did Josh have to endure regular sexual abuse from his father, his home environment was extremely violent, she said, with regular threats made to keep him quiet.

But Josh, now 10, recently showed he has found his voice. And it may have saved his friends from abuse as well.

Josh "wants a daddy in the worst way as all little children do and this puts him at risk for other assaults," says Mish, and often tries to get close to adult men so he can fill that void. He has a hard time with appropriate behavior.

Just recently Josh, along with two friends, were being groomed in an organization by a man who was offering cool gifts, Mish said.

"Josh was the only one who had the courage to tell," Mish said. "So in our book, Josh is a hero."

He may be a hero, but he could use some support, and a creative outlet for his talent and his pain. The husky boy is home-schooled and lives with his mother.

"They don't have much. In fact, they don't even have a TV, which would be a thrill for them," Mish said.

Josh loves to play board games "and he is a great little artist," she said, adding Josh would love art pads, colored pencils, paint and a canvas.

If you can help this boy, please call the Children's Advocacy Center 541-734-5437 ext. 102.

To see more stories from the Light One Candle series and other opportunities to help during the holiday season, visit

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