Hard financial times can literally break apart a family, as single mom Christina knows only too well.
Christina, 34, has “five wonderful kids” including sons ages 13, 12 and 9; a 2-year-old daughter and a 4-month old son.
She works for a Fort Worth auto dealership in business development, a job that had been full time but now is a part-time position.
Christina receives SNAP benefits and Medicaid to supplement her earnings, but her diminished paycheck wasn’t enough to keep up her apartment rent. To make matters worse, Christina wasn’t eligible for maternity leave when the baby was born.
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The family had to move, and now they are forced to live apart.
“I was doing good on my own until I had my baby,” she said in her application for the Star-Telegram’s Goodfellow Fund, which distributes $50 gift cards for children’s Christmas clothes and shoes from J.C. Penney.
“I am currently staying with my mom with my baby and my daughter, and my sons are staying with my sisters and one with his godmother,” Christina said. “It’s rough, especially around this time of year.”
She tries to keep a big smile on her face for the children, Christina said, “but my heart hurts that we’re all staying in different places.”
The family had been in similar straits some time ago, Christina wrote, and she had promised her children it wouldn’t happen again. But life had different plans.
Christina said she was looking forward to gathering her children together for a shopping trip with their Goodfellows gift cards on Black Friday, to make the most of their $50 per child limits.
And things can always get better.
“I don’t want to make it seem like a sad story, because I am a believer,” Christina said.
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.