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Mother and sons are building a future

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.

After surviving horrific abuse, this mother and four boys are striving toward the American dream. Warm winter clothing and gift cards to purchase food and household necessities would help to sustain their efforts.

Born in Mexico, this woman came to the United States at age 16 with a much older man, who threatened her with death, said Laura Lindley-Gutierrez, attorney at the Center for NonProfit Legal Services. The husband and wife had four sons, who sometimes lived with their mother in a car, scavenging for food, before they were able to flee.

The woman, now 40, worked extensively with law enforcement to bring her husband to justice. Employed and living in Medford, she is finalizing her status as a legal permanent resident with assistance from CNPLS.

The woman’s sons -- ages 12 to 18, all American citizens -- are in school and counseling. They hope to finish their educations and achieve jobs, homes and safety for their loved ones.

The entire family needs coats, gloves and hats, which they can't afford. The mother wears women’s medium clothing. The oldest two boys, 17 and 18, wear boys’ large or men’s small clothing. Their 12- and 15-year-old brothers wear boys’ size medium.

Additional clothing could be purchased with gift cards to Target or Walmart. The family also would welcome gift cards to buy groceries at either store or Medford’s Food 4 Less.

The CNPLS office in downtown Medford offers legal services for the elderly and needy families in the Rogue Valley under the mission of providing access to justice, regardless of clients’ financial means.

To help, call Lindley-Gutierrez at 541-779-7292.