With her gift from Press Christmas for All, this young mother says her family's holiday will be a little brighter because she'll be able to buy diapers and detergent, and a few small treats for her little girls.
"I'm so excited," she said.
She sounds sad and overwhelmed as she talks about the number of challenges she's facing as Christmas Day approaches.
Her husband left her with their two young daughters, ages 2 and 5, and she's trying desperately to provide for them with no support from their father.
The emotional and financial challenges she faces because of her husband's departure are compounded by medical issues. Her youngest child requires major surgery in the near future.
"She has to have her kidney taken out. It has cysts that cause cancer," she said. "She's only 2."
The mounting medical bills are another source of stress.
At the same time, the mom's going through another trying situation, one she did not mention on her application to Press Christmas for All. Her dad has cancer.
"My father is dying. I'm grateful I can be there for him, but it's really hard," she said.
She works as many hours as she can get at a local daycare center, a job she can bring her daughters along to rather than pay for child care. She's asked for more hours, and said she believes she'll get them when they become available.
She's already sold most of her belongings to keep paying her bills. Without Christmas for All, she said she wouldn't be able to make the day special at all for her little girls.
"I really appreciate this because they mean everything to me," she said. "They're the reason I get up every day."
With our readers' assistance, Press Christmas for All works to brighten the holidays for people like this - the jobless, homeless, those who are barely making ends meet, individuals with disabilities or illnesses. Many are alone this holiday season.
Each year, our generous readers' donations allow us to assist thousands of Kootenai County families in need. Each day until Christmas, we will share the stories of those whose holiday memories will be a little happier because of Press Christmas for All.
Donations are collected, then distributed in the form of gift cards to Kootenai County residents in need.
Press Christmas for All is a holiday charity now in its 27th year. It is managed as a nonprofit by The Hagadone Corp. Because it is run by volunteers from The Hagadone Corp. and their partners at Kootenai County Fire and Rescue, with assistance from North Idaho College employee volunteers, every penny raised is distributed in the form of gift cards from Shopko or Super 1 Foods, local retailers who also generously support the program. The cards can be used to buy food and gifts but not alcohol or tobacco products. All contributions are tax deductible.
To give, please send a check to:
Press Christmas for All 201 Second St. Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
You can also call (208) 664-8176 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and donate by credit card.
Donations can be made securely online at www.christmasforallcda.com
Recent donors: Jesse, Sue & Jeff Welch; Steve & Linda Casey; Jorgia Irish; Bud & Evie Oakland; Leland & Lyndell Erwin; William Goetz; Anonymous; James & Georgia Warren (In memory of Roy Jessie Anderson); Cheryl & Lynn Humphreys; Dale & Sandra Lawrence; Raymond & Barbara Bradley; Bill Boggs; Kenneth & Sherry Beno; Jeff Cobb; Oran & Sandra Kramer; Jim Lynn (In memory of my wife Marietta Lynn); Robert & Marilyn Hunt; Dick & Jean Schmidt