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Bunk beds would give comfort to kids sleeping on floor

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.

As the weather turns colder, hot water could be a scarce commodity for a Medford family living in an unheated fifth-wheel trailer.

When a water hose broke and flooded the trailer, it destroyed many of the family’s belongings. Lacking funds for a professional repair, the mother managed to reattach the line, but she doubts the fix will last long.

Also lacking are the parents’ English-language skills, although both are eager to learn. The 36-year-old father’s full-time job in forestry often takes him away from home for weeks at a time. Caring for their 8-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter, the man’s wife earns a reduction in their rent by reading the trailer park’s electric meters and cleaning its laundry facility.

While the family has shelter, its substandard condition qualifies them for assistance from Medford’s Maslow Project, which provides a variety of services to homeless children and their families. The two children are not only bilingual in English and Spanish but extremely bright, interested in learning and well-behaved, say Maslow program managers.

A gift of bilingual children’s books also would help the mother, 45, to learn English. She dreams of twin-sized bunk beds for her kids, along with sheets, blankets and pillows. If not sleeping on the trailer’s floor, the boy and girl take turns on its sofa or in their mother’s bed if their father is away. 

The boy needs new sneakers in size 1 and likes Converse brand. The girl would love a pink or purple bicycle.

To give this family a helping hand, call Raul Tovar, bilingual family advocate for Maslow, at 541-608-6868.

— Sarah Lemon