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Many more asking for help this year

| December 12, 2010 8:00 PM

They're jobless, disabled, homeless, alone.

Because of this newspaper's generous readers, they will know this community cares about them this holiday season.

Many of the people who have asked for help from Press Christmas for All are desperate, and have never applied for assistance from a holiday charity program before.

For nearly every story, there are dozens more like it.

• A family of four is sleeping on the floor of a relative's one-bedroom trailer because the parents are unable to find full-time work.

• There is a 96-year-old woman who lives alone on just social security, her income "below low income."

• Buying food is a challenge for a young college student who lives alone and supports herself with a part-time job while she carries a full-time course load.

• A father of five with a full-time job drives to Spokane regularly to sell his plasma because it is the only way he can afford to pay the family's utility bills, and buy enough food for them.

• A couple married for 61 years and living on a very limited income just found out this will be their last Christmas together; the husband was diagnosed with cancer.

• A homeless veteran with a broken ankle is sleeping in a car that doesn't run.

• The mother in one family, near 60, is disabled and has cancer. While her husband works, she is caring for her grown daughter who has a brain tumor, and the daughter's two children. The couple's income doesn't leave much for food for all of them after rent and utilities are paid.

With our readers' assistance, Press Christmas for All works to brighten the holidays for folks like this.

Last year our generous readers' donations allowed us to assist thousands of families in need, and this year we expect to be asked for help from far more.

Each day until Christmas, we will share with you the stories of those whose holiday memories will be a little happier because of Press Christmas for All.

Donations are collected, then distributed in the form of gift cards to Kootenai County residents in need.

Press Christmas for All is a holiday charity now in its 25th year. It is managed as a nonprofit by The Hagadone Corp. Because it is run by volunteers from The Hagadone Corp. and their partners at Kootenai County Fire and Rescue, every penny raised is distributed in the form of gift cards to Shopko and to Super 1 Food Stores. Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. The cards can be used to buy food and gifts but not alcohol or tobacco products.

To donate, please send a check to:

Press Christmas for All

201 Second St.

Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

You can also call (208) 664-8176 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and donate by credit card.

Recent donors include:

Bud & Kay Sanders "In memory of Ben Patzer"; Gary & Karen Smith "In honor of the Post Falls Senior Center 'Bag Ladies' (meals on wheels packing ladies)"; Mary Ann Smith; Gary & Sandra Sonnen; Space Screw, Inc.; John & Deanna Stamsos; Keith & Marie Straley; Wilma Vail; Nancy S. & Marc Wallace; Water Solutions Inc.; John & Carolyn Willoughby; Coeur d'Alene Kiwanis; Midway Nissan; Dick & Jean Schmidt; Sunshine Minting.

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