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Family needs winter clothes

| December 19, 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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The challenges “Valerie” has faced this year are shared by many families.

A single mom of four daughters, Valerie lost her job due to the pandemic. Struggling to find work and pay the bills, she had to find a new place for her family to live.

“It’s been a nightmare,” she said.

In the midst of a big move and ever-changing school environment, Valerie’s daughters have struggled to adjust. Two of the girls are falling behind in school, though Valerie has done her best to help with remote learning.

“I’m not a teacher,” she said. “I love teachers to death. I couldn’t do it.”

School closures and changing schedules have made it harder than usual to find child care — and thus harder for Valerie to keep a job.

“I’ve had to call out more times than I’ve ever wanted to because things are always changing,” she said.

The scramble to keep the lights on and put food on the table is a constant source of stress for Valerie, who has no family support to fall back on.

“I tell my kids it’s OK and then cry myself to sleep,” she said.

For the first time in her life, she was prescribed antidepressants. Though medication has helped her manage, she said it’s a struggle to stay afloat.

“Hopefully it’s going to get better,” she said. “I’m just trying to be the best mom I can be.”

As winter wears on, Valerie is acutely aware of how her daughters need new clothes — clothes she can’t afford. The worn-out hand-me-downs they’re wearing this year won’t last much longer.

One of the girls received a pair of snow boots at school, but the others have to make do with what they have.

“Hopefully they’ll work for one more year,” Valerie 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 donors:

Dianne and Patrick Sullivan; Julie King; Robert and Janet Haakenson; Eric and Michelle Haakenson; Blossom Mountaintop Farm; Robert and Barbara Lee; Tom Moorhouse; Jeanette Thomas; Gordon and Joann Longwell; North Idaho Unitarian Universalists; Kelly James-Beal; Phillip and Mary Hayes; John and Diane Raley; In memory of Rich Houser; Keith and Shelly Woodward; Dave and Janie Sande; Stanley and Mona Wolf; Brent and Ann Unruh; Jan and Dave Moseley, in memory of Mary Sorenson; Carolyn Hague, in memory of Scott and Denny Hague

OVER $500

Thrivent; CDA Rifle and Pistol Club; James and Patricia Lawrence; Kjell and Helene Lofstrand; Connie Young