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Single dad changes life for son

| December 15, 2020 1:06 AM

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.

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“Patrick” has grappled with drug addiction since he was just 13 years old.

After spending years in and out of jail and treatment programs, he never found the support he needed to be successful and be active in his son’s life.

At least, not until he entered Kootenai County’s Mental Health Court Program.

Mental Health Court is an intensive, post-conviction program for those with substance abuse and mental health issues. The program consists of supervision by a mental health professional and frequent appearances before a judge, as well as counseling, treatment and substance abuse testing.

“It radically changed my life,” Patrick said.

Patrick’s son was born addicted to heroin. Within the first year of his life, Patrick’s mom took custody of him.

“I was in and out of jail and treatment and wasn’t really there for him,” Patrick said. “It wasn’t until recently that I was able to fully commit as a father.”

He once worried that the damage done to their bond was irreparable.

“I was afraid we would never have that full relationship that a father and son should have,” he said.

But now the pair are making up for lost time. Patrick has partial custody of his son, now 5, and is working to get back on his feet so he can care for him full-time.

“I try to be the best father I can be,” he said.

In addition to the recovery work he’s doing in Mental Health Court, Patrick has a steady job with a compassionate boss.

“He’s been in recovery himself for 10 or 15 years,” Patrick said. “He understands.”

In order to drive to work and treatment safely, Patrick needs a pair of windshield wipers. He’s also been using the same pair of contact lenses since May because he can’t afford glasses.

Patrick said he’s grateful for the program that helped him transform his life and become the kind of father he never dreamed he could be.

“The support this community has showed and the impact it’s had on me is tremendous,” he said.

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This is the 35th 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. The 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.

Please help. Make your tax-deductible donation today any of four ways:

• 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 cdapress.com. Click on Christmas for All 2020 at the top of the page.

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

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Recent donations

Friends of Cottage Grove; Jeff and Kate Harrison; Jon Harwood; Amy Mayer; Mark Sales; Wendy Lloyd-Davies; Donald Sausser; Chuck and Cindy Matthews; Pamela Randolph; Frank Jessick; Jeff and Susan Crowe; Connie Taylor; Steve Rasor; John and Sharon Keating; Tammy Ritzheimer; Jodi Foutch; Paul Anderson; Judith Riba Nelson; Ken and Vicki Roberge; Lillian Jaynes; Rick and Vicki Currie, in memory of our good friend John McGurder; Kathy and Russell DiBiase; Will and Barb Neal; Linda Isaacson; Carol Taylor; Monika Krapfl; Bill and Carol Delyea; Carolyn Leege; Norma and Allen Baldridge; Gwen Lawler-Tough, in memory of my beloved brother Kevin Lawler; In memory of Carl; Norman and Alice Schmidt; Kathleen Austin, in memory of my sister Stephanie Scrimshire; Gary and Arlene Anderson; Bonita and Bart Chamberlin; Yvonne Deitz; Jean and Craig Hiatt; Mr. and Mrs. Alva C. Osborn; Robert and Margaret Mathes; Charles James Thompson; Rita and Bill Leinweber; Peter and Renate Rau; Norman and Tamera Daniels; Lois Featherstone, in memory of David Featherstone; James and Joan Katayama; David and Valerie Hodge; James and Signe Shank; David and Nancy Wright; Michael White and Deborah Fuller-White; Beverly Schermer; Lloyd and Robyn Gronning; Mark and Camille Rimmer; Arnold and Zita Wright; Pete and Carol Ratcliffe; Shirley Vance; Sandra and Mark Landberg; Jim Garron; Mary and Lane McCombs; Diane and Greg Snyder; Gary and Pauline Rahm; Donald and Cindy Scharenberg; Sandra Louise Langston; Dianne Dickinson; David and Patricia Hoskins; Donna Ladwig; Thomas and Kristi Sharbono; Janet and John Smith; Louise Rossi; Bonnie June Carpenter; Teresa and James Jamerson; John and Nancy Runge; Kathleen and William Hare; David and Loretta Ackerman; Elaine and Thomas Cerny; Cecilia Becker; Joan Day; Janet Anderson; Darrell and Rita Miller; Ralph and Janice Baker; Parker and Kay Woodall; Gary Jensen; Roger and Nancy Clark; Charles and Bonnie Patterson; Duane and Sharon Fitch; Harry and Leslee Edison; Larry Siglin and Meredith Bryant; Pam and Roger Rowland

Over $500

Paul and Mary Ann Stoll; Don and Diane Barron; John and Betsy McTear, in honor of grocery and retail workers; R. Brad Jordan and Ronald Bremer; Don and Sally Allen; Gale Akers; David and S. Anne Albrecht; Charlene and Aka Polly Jones; Anonymous Fund at Blue Grass Community Foundation; Kootenai-Shoshone County Farm Bureau; Mary Lou Reed.