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Family of six lacks heat and other necessities

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.

This family of six found safety from sex abuse at a rural home, where the only daughter takes solace in riding her horse.

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The rustic residence lacks heat, a washer or dryer, and it needs a new bathroom window. The single mother’s employer provides the lodging at her job site, but utilities are very limited, with propane being among the only energy options.

The family relocated to the south part of Jackson County after the daughter reported an uncle had sexually abused her. Following forensic interviews, one of the woman’s four sons disclosed abuse by the same uncle, said Lacey Elliott, outreach coordinator for Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County.

The investigation, therapy and treatment had ripple effects through the mother’s support circle, and her marriage of more than a decade ended under the strain, leaving the family with few resources, said Elliott. This mother, 37, recognized the signs of sexual abuse and reached out for help, which referred her to the Advocacy Center in Medford.

The mother cannot afford to repair her home’s broken window nor buy a washer and dryer, although any appliances have to be highly energy efficient or run on propane. Space heaters would need to meet the same specifications.

With only a wood-burning fire pit for heat, the family desperately needs winter outerwear and warm blankets. Gas cards would help to alleviate the expense of driving into town for necessities.

The girl, 9, wishes for horse tack, grooming items or help with equine expenses. She also loves “Littlest Pet Shop” toys and anything girly, including clothes, children’s size 9/10.

The boys — ages 8 to 17 — need pants in children’s size 9/10 and 13/14, as well as men’s size 32/32 and 34/32, and shirts in children’s size medium and men’s extra-large. They dream of dirt bikes to ride but know their mom is stretched to provide for their basic needs. She wears women’s size-large shirts and 7/8 pants.

To help, email Elliott at lelliott@cacjc.org or call 541-494-1780.

Follow this year’s Light One Candle stories at mailtribune.com/news/light-one-candle/. See Thursday’s print and e-editions for the story of a family of six split between relatives’ homes in Medford and Ashland after their no-fault eviction.