Empty Stocking Fund may fulfill two-gift wish

Eric Butler Shelly isn’t looking to have everything for her 5-year-old daughter this Christmas. It’s not a stocking full of goodies or a tree that appears to have a gift-wrapped box foundation that the single mother wants. In fact, Shelly has very modest goals for little Stephanie. “I just want a nice, quiet Christmas,” she […]

Single mom’s Christmas burden may be lightened by fund

By Eric Butler Danielle first moved to Eastern New Mexico 11 years ago. Three years later, she gave birth to her son Scott. Times were never that good for Danielle and Scott (not their real names) as the pair lived in a run-down house — a house fit to be condemned. And, in fact, that’s […]

Couple wish for love and gifts for family

Eric Butler A few generations ago, the children of Cammie and Jesse might be trading in their school books for work tools. But sacrificing the children’s education, in the long run, will not produce the best results for the two boys (ages 12 and 10) and three girls (11, 10 and 7). And so Cammie […]

Family of five faces stark holiday without help

Eric Butler Five kids in one local family may not know how bad things are these days. But their mom Jennifer does. And that’s why she is applying for help from the Empty Stocking Fund, which is conducted through The Salvation Army. Jennifer (not her real name) cleans houses for a living and is without […]

Luxuries not possible for this family’s holiday

By Eric Butler A Christmas tree with lights on and gifts underneath, a big dinner with turkey and dressing and pies for dessert — this is the picture of the holidays that Christine would like to paint for her family this year. But there’s another scenario that’s closer to reality for Christine (not her real […]

Disabled parents need some holiday help

Eric Butler Sylvia had grown used to supporting her husband Charles ever since the time his health situation deteriorated to the point where he couldn’t work any more. That was 15 years ago. Even when Sylvia gave birth to a daughter five years ago, everything seemed fine. But life for Sylvia and Charles (not their […]

Disabled parents don’t want to be a burden

Eric Butler Beth and Wayne know life isn’t likely to get easier for them. But even considering the difficulty of paying bills and feeding themselves, maybe the toughest thing for the couple is the thought that they’ll be a burden on their own children. Residents of the area for the past eight years, Beth and […]

Mom wants good holiday memories for her son

Eric Butler Most kids don’t remember their first Christmas. Or do they? After moving to the area from Texas eight months ago, Annie (not her real name) isn’t sure of the answer to that question. But if her year-old son does retain memories, she wants them to be good ones. Annie, a single mother, actually […]

Fund could help put out financial flames

Eric Butler o Fire victims could face ‘very small’ Christmas. By Eric Butler CNJ CORRESPONDENT The holiday season is a budget cruncher for most people, but especially for those with low-paying jobs. For Lauren (not her real name), the season became particularly difficult when fire struck her family home recently. Her three daughters — ages […]

Fund helps make Christmas Day different from rest

Eric Butler Barry may look like he enjoys food a little too much, and that there’s a regular supply coming his way. But what appears to be a lack of self-control for Barry, who is overweight and unable to do much of any kind of activity, is actually a result of health problems. A friend […]