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Almeda fire added to burden for sisters

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.

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September’s Almeda fire consumed this new mother’s home and all of her belongings. The catastrophe heaped more hardship on the woman, who is a victim of violent crime.

Baby clothing and gift cards for household goods and groceries will lend this 21-year-old strength in her fight for justice. She is working with Center for NonProfit Legal Services in Medford and law enforcement officials toward the perpetrator’s prosecution, says lawyer Laura Lindley-Gutierrez.

The woman’s 19-year-old sister, who lives with her, also is a survivor of violent crime. Originally from Mexico, the women both attended Talent Middle School and Phoenix High School and shared a manufactured home in Talent before the devastating wildfire.

The older sister gave birth in March to two boys, who were premature and underweight but are now thriving, says Lindley-Gutierrez. They need size 10 babies’ clothing, baby care items and age-appropriate playthings.

As they search for a permanent home in Medford, the sisters’ burden would ease with assistance to purchase winter clothing from Walmart or Target, as well as food. The women are interested in entering the health care industry and hope to save enough money to attend Rogue Community College, says Lindley-Gutierrez. Lively and sweet, this fledgling family is proving its resilience and emerging as strong role models for its next generation, she says.

To help, call Lindley-Gutierrez at CNPLS, 541-779-7292, or email l.gutierrez@cnpls.net.

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