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PRESS CHRISTMAS FOR ALL: Widow gets gift of warmth

| December 7, 2023 1:07 AM

As part of the annual Press Christmas for All campaign, we share with readers the stories of those who have received help from the program. This is one of them.

When her husband of 44 years died last year, “Barbara” was left to face the world on her own.

It hasn’t been easy. Barbara lives on a modest Social Security income. With her rent increasing every year and the cost of living in Kootenai County rising above what she can afford, she’s struggling to get by.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease makes it nearly impossible for Barbara to do the physical jobs she worked throughout her career.

“I’m on oxygen, so that doesn’t help,” she said. “I don’t know if anybody would hire me with oxygen.”

When Barbara’s furnace gave out in October, she panicked. She had no way of paying for the repairs or any other emergency expenses. Winter was just around the corner.

Community Action Partnership recommended Barbara to Christmas for All. The program paid for her furnace to be repaired in early November.

“What a blessing,” she said. “It happened just in time. I was running three space heaters and it shows on my electric bill.”

Barbara had never heard of Christmas for All before she was directed to the program. She was amazed to learn the community provides this help for people who are in need.

“I appreciate what everybody did,” she said. “I don’t know what I would do without them. Thank God for this program.”

Each year, Press readers donate generously to Press Christmas for All. Every penny raised is distributed to Kootenai County residents. All overhead costs are covered by The Hagadone Corp.

The gift recipients are our neighbors including families with young children, the elderly, people with disabilities, veterans, the homeless and those with mental illnesses. Many who seek assistance from Christmas for All are working but unable to make ends meet, especially with the dramatic increase in the cost of living in Kootenai County.

Beneficiaries of Press Christmas for All keep their dignity while the community provides a hand-up to help get them back on their feet. They are asked to pitch in a little bit toward their award to remind them of their capacity and resourcefulness. The “co-pay” is small and calculated on a sliding scale of income, but ensures these neighbors actively participate in their award. 

Press Christmas for All is managed by The Hagadone Corp., with assistance from CharityReimagined.Org. Christmas for All is a legally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Here are four ways to donate:

• Mail a check to Press Christmas for All, 215 N. Second St., Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

• Call The Press and make a secure credit card donation over the phone: 208-664-8176

• Visit cdapress.com. Click on Christmas for All and make a secure, online donation.

• 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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