She’s there when kids need her

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As part of the annual Press Christmas for All Campaign, we share with readers the stories of the people applying for help. Here’s one of them.

• • •

A single woman in her 20s, “Kate” dropped out of high school to care for her younger siblings. Now she’s raising her nieces, ages 3 and 1, because of her brother’s substance abuse issues. Despite the challenges of suddenly becoming a single mom, she’s determined to give the girls a safe, loving home.

“I just couldn’t see myself turning them away or brushing them off,” Kate said. “They’re not a burden to me. I love them very much.”

Her younger niece was just four days old when Kate took her in. She expects to adopt both girls in the future.

“I don’t want them to go to a stranger,” she said. “I want them to grow up with us and still see their parents, if it’s a healthy relationship down the road.”

No matter where she goes, Kate is taking care of someone. She works full-time as a caregiver in an assisted living facility. Though she loves her job, she barely earns enough to make ends meet, especially when raising two small kids.

“It’s a struggle,” she said.

Her greatest expense? Clothes.

“They’re growing so fast,” Kate said. “Clothing is so expensive. I go to secondhand stores, but they don’t always have the right sizes.”

The 1-year-old was born addicted to drugs, Kate said, while the 3-year-old came to her confused, unhappy and scared of other people. Now, in Kate’s care, both girls are thriving.

The younger sister loves animals, she said, and the older sister has blossomed into a social butterfly.

“Her heart has softened a lot, you can tell,” Kate said.

This is the 34th year Press Christmas for All has worked to brighten the lives of Kootenai County residents in need. Each year, Press readers donate generously to the program. Every penny raised is distributed to Kootenai County residents. All overhead costs are covered by The Hagadone Corp.

The gift recipients are our neighbors who are struggling, including the elderly, disabled, homeless and mentally ill. Many who seek assistance from Christmas for All are working, but living near or below the poverty level.

Beneficiaries of Press Christmas for All are going to keep their dignity intact while the community provides a hand up to help get them back on their feet. Press Christmas for All is managed by The Hagadone Corp., with assistance from CharityReimagined.Org. It is a legally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit, run entirely by volunteers.

With a shorter holiday giving season than usual, please make your donation sooner than later. Here are four ways to do it: • Mail a check to Press Christmas for All, 215 N. Second St., Coeur d’Alene, 83814 • Call The Press and make a secure credit card donation over the phone: 208-664-8176 • Go to Click on the MENU button, then click on Christmas for All 2019.

• Drop off your check at The Press weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.: 215 N. Second St. in downtown Coeur d’Alene.

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