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Family needs help to pull together

This family of seven — parents and five children — are living in separate places as they work to reunite

Editor’s note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or agency who could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need.

The cost of adequate housing keeps this Medford family of seven separated, each child staying with a different relative.

Losing a beloved family member this year to illness compounded the struggles of these parents working to overcome substance abuse disorders and reunite with their five children, ages 8 months to 15 years. These kids would take comfort in some new clothes, winter gear and playthings while outings and restaurant meals would bring the family together.

Involved with the child welfare system for the past year, the parents have been apart from their children for about three months while undergoing treatment. Benefiting from sponsors on their path to recovery, the parents, both in their late 30s, have their extended family’s support and encouragement, said Wenonoa Spivak, deputy director for CASA of Jackson County.

Gathering the siblings at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum, Kid Time Children’s Museum, Rogue Valley Family Fun Center and local movie theaters is the parents’ wish. They also would love gift cards to family-friendly eateries, such as as Red Robin, Mod Pizza, Yogurt Hut and Chick-fil-A.

The couple’s 8-month-old boy needs warm clothing, a crib-sized blanket, educational toys and stuffed animals appropriate for infants. Plush toys also delight his 2-year-old sister, who loves books, coloring and unicorns. She wears 2T and could use jeans and long-sleeved shirts. Also enamored of unicorns, the 5-year-old girl enjoys Baby Alive dolls and longs to sleep with a huge cat or dog Squishmallow. She wears size 5T.

In need of kids size 4 snow boots, good snow gloves and size 8-10 long-sleeved Henley-style shirts, the 9-year-old brother loves “Star Wars”-themed Legos, building sets, Imaginex and Pokémon. He dreams of a receiving a Nintendo Switch. His 15-year-old sister would love gift cards to purchase makeup at Ulta or other boutiques and jewelry at Claire’s, as well as a flat-iron for her hair.

To help, call CASA at 541-734-2272, or email casa@jacksoncountycasa.org

Follow this year’s Light One Candle stories at mailtribune.com/news/light-one-candle/. See Tuesday’s e-edition for the story of a 63-year-old woman, disabled in a horrific car accident, who is working with Center for NonProfit Legal Services.