If the children’s sheer number was not enough to keep this single mother hopping, her oldest son has severe disabilities that require round-the-clock care.
Home health aides help meet his special needs. And Lauren’s mother, who lives nearby, helps watch all of the children when Lauren needs her.
But even with that, her children are young and Lauren’s hands are so full that, at this point in her life, even a part-time job is not possible.
What she has is a home full of children and love and just enough is in disability benefits, support for dependent children and food stamps for them to make it month-to-month.
Christmas presents its own special challenges.
And for that, Lauren’s mother watched the kids while went in to register for help from the Salvation Army Angel Tree and the Johnson City Press Christmas Box.
“We depend on the Angel Tree. It’s a wonderful thing the Salvation Army does for children,” she said.
And with a ham and the makings of their holiday that comes from the Christmas Box, there will also be extra groceries to see them through to the end of December.
“That comes in good because Christmas is at the end of the month and I buy twice as much as the food stamps we get,” she said. “It really helps out.”
For those who would like to help provide Christmas dinner and several additional meals for more than 1,000 local families with children on the Angel Tree, a $35 donation to the Johnson City Press Christmas Box will provide a ham, 10 pounds of potatoes, 3 pounds of onions and more than 40 canned and packaged food items for a family of three or more people, or a $35 Food City gift certificate for a senior living alone or small household of one or two people.
The Johnson City Press covers all administrative costs of the food distribution so that 100 percent of all Christmas Box donations are used to purchase food. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online at jcpchristmasbox.com or by mail to P.O. Box 1387, Johnson City, TN, 37605.
More information about the Christmas Box can be found at the website or at the Johnson City Press Christmas Box page on Facebook, or may be obtained by contacting Senior Reporter Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected] or 423-722-0538.