Like most 16-year-olds, there’s almost nothing Patrick would like more than to have his own car.
But that wish won’t be met this Christmas because it ranks well below more pressing needs — a car for his mom, for example.
For Eleanor, times would be good if she had the means to provide her teenage sons and daughters with something beyond the necessities of life. But Eleanor and Patrick (not their real names) and the rest of the family are struggling right now, especially since the lack of a car limits the kinds of jobs mom can get.
“We need a car. We don’t have one and it’s very hard getting around,” Eleanor said when she applied for holiday assistance this year with The Salvation Army.
Patrick is the oldest of Eleanor’s five children. Her other two sons are 12 and 4, while her daughters are 11 and 3. Patrick’s age could help him land a job to supplement the family income, but Eleanor would rather her son concentrate on school.
As for herself, Eleanor keeps a positive outlook.
“I am a single parent and live on a fixed income. I don’t have enough to get the kids a Christmas,” she said.
“But we thank God that we have a roof over our house, food on the table and we have our health.”
Through the Empty Stocking Fund, a joint effort of The Salvation Army and the Portales News-Tribune, Eleanor’s family will receive a food basket that includes pancake mix, peanut butter, jelly, canned goods, cereal, beans, rice, sugar and macaroni and cheese.
More than 400 local families are scheduled to receive the baskets through the Empty Stocking Fund this holiday season.
Donations for the Empty Stocking Fund may be dropped off or mailed to the PNT, 101 E. First St., Portales, N.M., 88130. Envelopes should be clearly marked to indicate they contain a donation for the Empty Stocking Fund.
All contributions will be forwarded to The Salvation Army.
People who would like to donate food or new Christmas toys or clothing items may do so at The Salvation Army office, 317 E. Second St, Clovis. Information is available by calling The Salvation Army office at 762-3801.