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CFA: Despite struggles, dad supports family

| December 20, 2020 1:20 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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“Chris” has the weight of the world on his shoulders.

A dad of four kids under the age of nine, he’s the sole earner for his family. His wife “Anne” is disabled and can’t work.

Previously self-employed as a caregiver, Chris used to work with clients in their homes. When the pandemic made that impossible, he began delivering food for DoorDash to make ends meet.

“We’re staying alive,” he said. “We’re trying not to fall behind on bills.”

Just getting by was made more difficult when a small crack in the family car’s windshield spidered into three big ones. Chris said it will cost almost $1,000 to repair.

It’s a kind of Catch-22: Chris needs a safe car to earn money, but he doesn’t earn enough money to fix the car.

The family’s troubles began even before the pandemic. After losing their home in 2019, they struggled to find safe, stable housing. In the midst of a pandemic, Chris said he felt lucky to find a place they could afford.

“It’s a blessing having our own place again,” Chris said. “There were a few places we stayed that weren’t healthy.”

Despite the family’s struggles, they found room in their home and hearts for one more.

They recently adopted a dog who was unwanted by her previous owner. Chris said he suspects the dog may have been abused.

“She had a huge laceration on her neck from her collar being too tight,” he said. “She’s skittish. All she wants is love.”

That’s exactly what she’s getting in her new home. Chris said his kids adore the dog, who is older but still spirited. She’s brought some badly-needed cheer to the holiday season.

Through all the uncertainty this year has caused, Chris said one thing has remained clear.

“Family is the most important thing,” he said.

•••

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.