Employment worries add to parents' difficulties

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Those wishing to contribute to individual profiles already published should indicate the recipient's name. Cash and check donations should be made payable to Toybox, P.O. Box 4, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702.

Unemployment puts a damper on the holidays

Ordinarily Mom and Dad both work to pay the bills and provide Christmas for this family with four children. Recent unemployment has forced them to live on one salary, and it is a hardship.

"It's hard to manage paying bills and providing food -- extra money for gifts is just not there," Linda said. "Toybox really helps out a lot. It's a pretty good program."

The oldest child is beyond the age limit of 12 and cannot apply for Toybox. Helping with gifts for the other three children will ease the difficulty for Linda and her spouse in providing gifts for the oldest child.

Georgia is 11 and loves "High School Musical." The DVD or board game would make Georgia feel special. Other items include a CD player or makeup. She is a size 16 slim girls or a size 3 in juniors; shoe size 8 1/2 to 9 ladies.

Five-year-old Tina is hoping Santa will bring her a purse with accessories. Other suggestions include a handheld or educational game. She is a size 5 or 6 in pants; size 12 1/2 shoe.

Amy, 4, would also like a purse with accessories. She likes to play with baby dolls and would love a stroller, too. A bike without training wheels is also on her list. Amy is a size 5 in clothes; size 11 1/2 shoe.

Socks, house shoes or jeans are items the children could all use.

Reduced work hours make expectations hard to meet

Bonnie, a home health aide for nine years, depends on her vehicle for her livelihood. Keeping gas in it since her hours have been reduced has been difficult. Two of her patients have been hospitalized, reducing the hours she works.

"I'm grateful for anything my children receive from Toybox. My kids appreciate anything," she said.

As a single parent, Bonnie is proud that she can pay bills on time and usually provide what her children need. "Their dad tries to help out now and again, but he's not dependable," she said.

As it stands, Bonnie's Christmas tree has about three gifts under it right now. "Trying to pay bills is a strain. I just need a little help," she said.

Tristin, 10, has a birthday coming up, too. His birthday will not be overlooked. Bonnie just wishes she could earn the money to pay for everything. He is a size 14 to 16 husky.

Micheala is 7 and takes a size 8 slim.

Bonnie would be grateful for any gift the community would like to provide for her daughter.

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