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Home furnishings, clothes would help mother, daughter

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 complicated divorce claimed many of this mother and daughter’s possessions. With help from ACCESS Inc.'s rental-subsidy program, the family has improved its living conditions but not its ability to furnish a home.

With just a dorm room-sized refrigerator to keep food fresh, the mother, 47, wishes for a full-sized appliance in its place. Extra bedding for two queen-sized mattresses, yard tools and gift cards for housewares also would be welcome additions to the family’s two-bedroom duplex in Central Point.

Before working with ACCESS, the mother and daughter lived in a substandard, one-bedroom rental. The nonprofit provides immediate and long-term solutions to lead clients in need toward self-sufficiency.

Employed in food service at one of the local school districts, the woman subsists on minimal unemployment benefits in the summertime. Also receiving a small amount of child support for her 8-year-old daughter, she has nearly no money to spend on essentials, much less on gifts, said ACCESS case manager Marilyn MacLaren.

Yet the woman’s generosity and kindness were the subject of an anonymous letter that ACCESS received earlier this year. The writer pleaded for any additional assistance for the woman, who underwent heart surgery last year and takes costly medications.

Reluctant to ask for help, even amid serious medical issues and stressful circumstances, the woman would love to give her daughter a CD player, Barbie house and clothes, easel with paints and peppermint candy canes. The girl needs leggings in kids size 7, as well as socks. Her favorite colors are pink, purple and black.

To help, call Vicki D’Alessandro, rental programs coordinator for ACCESS, at 541-779-6691, ext. 328.

For more Light One Candle stories, visit www.mailtribune.com/light-one-candle.

— Sarah Lemon