Karmita, a 37-year-old single mother, has been particularly challenged this year with a son’s disability and a job that didn’t give her the flexibility to deal with it.
“It really cut back on my hours and cut into my income,” she said, since she must take her son to frequent appointments with physicians and specialists. “I was without work then, due to my son’s disability.”
Karmita’s family includes three sons, ages 19, 15 and 13, a daughter who is also 15, and a 1-year-old granddaughter.
The 15-year-old son’s medical situation is worrisome.
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“He’s gradually losing his hearing and we don’t know why, and now they have found a spot on his brain,” Karmita said. “It’s a lot going on.”
Karmita also worries about her 15-year-old son’s emotional health as he deals with his circumstances.
“He’s frustrated about it, and in denial,” she said. ”He won’t wear his hearing aids.”
It is an emotional toll on Karmita as well. “I don’t cry in front of him, but I do cry,” she said.
Some things have resolved for the better in her life recently. Karmita got a new job in October.
“I love it so much,” she said. “I’m now an employee insurance benefit specialist. I love helping people understand their medical benefits and making sure they’re getting what they’re entitled. That used to be me.”
Karmita got holiday help from Goodfellows years ago when her children were younger and rediscovered the program while reading the Star-Telegram recently, so she reapplied.
Now her school-age children will receive new clothes and shoes via $50 gift cards from J.C. Penney.
“It’s a blessing,” she said. “It definitely helped me.”
Be a jolly Goodfellow
Since 1912, the Star-Telegram’s Goodfellow Fund has provided practical gifts for schoolchildren. Join this tradition by sending a contribution to Goodfellows, Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 78101. Or go online to goodfellowfund.org and make a secure credit card donation.