Dulce lost almost everything to insects.
She and her husband moved to Texas from Arizona five years ago. They were raising five sons, doing OK on his full-time salary and her part-time job, and living in an apartment that could best be described as habitable. Until it wasn’t.
“We struggled, because the landlord didn’t want to fix anything,” Dulce said.
Then bedbugs infested the facility.
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“Almost every unit had them for a while,” Dulce said. “Then the landlord got something new and got rid of them. But then they came back, and only to my apartment.”
Dulce blames the bug resurgence on the fact that the landlord refused to replace the carpet in her unit. The landlord also wouldn’t let them move into another unit.
There was no alternative, Dulce said. They decided the bugs could have that apartment, along with all the furnishings, appliances and anything else that couldn’t be debugged. They didn’t want to bring along anything that could transport the insects to their new place. That included a lot of their clothes that the bugs found interesting.
“I threw away everything, all my furniture,” Dulce said. “It’s pretty tough for us getting back on our feet.”
The Goodfellow Fund helped replace some of the clothes for Christmas, with $50 J.C. Penney gift cards for the kids who are in school.
Dulce’s 15-year-old son got a pair of pants.
“They were pretty expensive, but that’s all he wanted for Christmas,” she said.
The 14-year-old got two shirts and a pair of pants. The 10-year-old got two pants and two shirts. The 7-year-old got two pants and some pajamas. Their 3-year-old brother wasn’t eligible.
Goodfellows made Christmas 2017 a little better for Dulce’s family; the new apartment helped cheer them up even more.
“The apartment we’re in now is lots better,” she said. “The management is really good, too. They’re helping us and listening to us.”
If life doesn’t throw yet another curveball, Dulce thinks Christmas 2018 will be different.
“Circumstances can change,” she said. “If things keep getting better, maybe next year we can donate to Goodfellows. I’m really grateful for the help that they’ve given us.”
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 76101. Or go online to goodfellowfund.org and make a secure credit card donation.