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Mom and daughters celebrate holiday without fear

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

A holiday free from fear is this mother and daughters’ greatest gift.

Their joys would multiply among new toys and clothing to replace those left behind when the family fled domestic violence. Gift cards for gas and groceries would ease the mother’s transition into her new job.

Sleeping in their car, the woman and her 2- and 5-year-old daughters were less fearful than they were in their former home of unpredictability, abuse and chaos. The mother, 29, called Medford’s Community Works, which placed them in its Dunn House shelter.

Domestic violence has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, which has isolated victims from resources and support networks and challenged them to choose between safeguards against illness and safety from abusers in their homes, said Community Works staff. The nonprofit organization assists victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and trafficking.

Safe and supported, this woman gained employment and is seeking housing in Medford. Although they still wish for a home of their own, the mom and girls are thankful for their first holiday in peace to hang decorations, enjoy a festive meal and wake up on Christmas morning without worries.

Both girls enjoy playing outside and would love scooters with helmets. They also would appreciate dolls, games and puzzles. The younger girl, whose favorite color is pink, needs warm socks and a winter coat in size 3T. Her older sister, who prefers purple, also could use a jacket, as well as sweaters and warm shirts in children’s size 6.

Gift cards for basic goods and gas for the mother’s car would make significant contributions toward this family’s self-sufficiency. To help, call Community Works at 541-779-2393, ext. 200.

Follow this year’s Light One Candle stories at mailtribune.com/news/light-one-candle/. See Monday’s e-edition for the story of a 12-year-old boy whose parents are seeking assistance for occupational therapy to treat their son’s autism.