Light One Candle: 14-year-old needs food, household items

Food and household items will help a young teen hold his troubled family together.

Jesse, 14, is a hard-working student who prides himself on maintaining perfect attendance at school. His life at home, however, is anything but perfect. Over the past year he watched his older brother enter prison and his mother lose her job. She also returned to her methamphetamine addiction.

Suddenly, the teen found himself the oldest male in his house and the primary parent for his two siblings, ages 6 and 9.

Jesse wakes up each morning committed to preparing himself and his younger brother and sister for school. He has been cooking their meals, cleaning the house, and washing their clothes.

Through the trauma and hardships, Jesse remains focused in school in order to someday be in a place where he can be even more of a help to his family.

Jesse has often been pressured by his peers, and even his own brother, to be involved in some dangerous activities, but he refuses to give up on his dream of going to college.

Although Jesse is facing many barriers, his work ethic is strong and he remains amazingly resilient. Jesse is an active participant in the Kids Unlimited after-school program, where he works hard to maintain good grades and learn leadership skills.

Jesse could use practical things to help with his family's needs, such as food items or certificates for food, laundry detergent, and other household necessities. Jesse loves to read and would certainly enjoy a gift certificate to buy a new book. His younger siblings would enjoy and appreciate games or toys.

If you would like to help Jesse and his younger siblings, call Kids Unlimited at 774-3900. Ask for Tom.

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