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Family needs help after dad drowns

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 five’s new apartment is a refuge from unsafe living conditions they’ve suffered since the father drowned. Planning to move very few belongings, they need furniture, housewares, bedding, clothing and cleaning supplies.

Insect and rodent infestations at this family’s former residence rendered many items unsuitable for use in a new home, said Desirae Anthony, outreach and events coordinator for Family Nurturing Center in Medford.

The mother and two sons — ages 12 and 14 — came to live with relatives in White City after the dad’s 2019 drowning in Ferndale, California, where he was swept away in a flash flood while working on a dairy farm. Searchers combed the area around the Eel River while helicopter pilots scanned the landscape for hours, but the man’s body wasn’t located until the next morning.

Her husband’s death caused the 36-year-old woman to experience post-traumatic stress disorder, which has disabled her, said Anthony. Her 3- and 6-year-old daughters have been in foster care locally but soon will reunite with the family, which receives FNC services, including early childhood education, child care, parent education, home visits, activities for families and crisis support.

The kids would love bikes for Christmas, coinciding with the littlest child’s birthday. Their brothers also wish for other playthings appropriate for their ages.

The entire family needs winter clothing and warm bedding, for which gift cards would help them purchase correct sizes. Their new residence in Eagle Point lacks a washer and dryer. A dining room table and chairs, dressers and lamps would furnish much of the apartment. And the mother asked for a broom, mop and other items for cleaning.

To help, email care provider Amanda Pintarelli at amanda@rvfnc.org call or 541-816-6249.

Follow this year’s Light One Candle stories at mailtribune.com/news/light-one-candle/. See Wednesday’s print and e-editions for the story of a 14-year-old girl who escaped gang violence in her native Honduras to live with her grandmother in Ashland.