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Parents’ concern is for food, clothing for child

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.

These Medford parents who juggle working, schooling and caring for an 11-month-old can’t put enough food on the table. Unexpected bills have rationed their groceries, even after supplemental nutrition assistance and help from local food pantries.

The couple’s young daughter lacks warm clothing and playthings. Her parents’ financial difficulties also foreshadow a lean Christmas with no toys for the girl and little to eat. Gift cards to purchase food and clothing and donations of toys suited to the girl’s age would light up their home for the holidays.

The family was living in a motel they could barely afford before being referred earlier this year for housing and employment assistance. They found a rental in April, shortly before the mother, 28, lost her job. She has been unable to find work that balances out the costs of child care.

The father, also 28, works full time and just finished his first term of college studies. An unforeseen issue with his federal student loan required him to set up a payment plan for this term’s tuition, consuming a major chunk of the family’s income.

This family diligently works with Rogue Community Health, a network of local clinics that offer a wide range of affordable, accessible services and support, including involving other nonprofit partners to address patients’ needs. The organization’s community health workers leverage local resources, reduce barriers to obtaining services and support clients’ skill building and development plans for achieving goals.

This family is on a path to realizing success, according to caseworkers. Meanwhile, its most pressing need is food and warm clothing for their daughter in size 12-18 months. The family would welcome gift cards specifically for Fred Meyer.

To help, email RCH community health worker Rochelle Hopper at rhopper@roguech.org or call 541-973-0674.

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 Medford high school student who works a full-time restaurant job to help support her younger siblings.