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Friday, April 18, 2014

Single mom, kids now have heat

By Amy Renee Leiker
The Wichita Eagle

Share the Season is an annual campaign that offers one-time aid to people affected by unforeseen hardships. The people are not identified to protect their privacy.

She and her four children – ages 4, 6, 7 and 9 – just couldn’t stay at home with no warm water to bathe and cook, no heat to fight November’s chill.

Her wall furnace failed, the woman explained; the water heater and pipes busted, too, during last winter’s frigid temperatures.

She makes $8.55 per hour working at Wal-Mart. It isn’t enough to pay her bills, buy Christmas gifts for her children, and replace the furnace and water heater that cost nearly $500, she said.

So this single mother asked Share the Season to help her move back home. The family has lived with the woman’s parents since June so they can eat, sleep and shower.

“It has been hectic. I don’t even know how to put it,” the woman said. “Going with just me and the kids to having to live with my parents again has been interesting.”

Thanks to a gift from the Share the Season program, the family replaced its furnace on Nov. 17. The woman said she hopes she and her kids will be back on a schedule – and in their permanent, peaceful home – after a new water heater is installed next weekend.

“I think it’s a godsend. It is,” the woman said, when asked about Share the Season. “The relief that it gave me from stress … I actually cried.”

Send contributions to Share the Season at the Wichita Community Foundation, 301 N. Main, Suite 100, Wichita, KS 67202.

Donations also can be made through PayPal online at www.wichitacf.org. Donors will be listed in The Eagle; please note if you prefer to remain anonymous. For more information, call 316-264-4880.

To apply for help: Download an application at www.sharetheseason.org, or pick one up at the Salvation Army, 350 N. Market, Wichita. For more information, call 316-263-2769.

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