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Family fled violence with the clothes on their backs

Editor's note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or agency who could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need.

The clothes on their backs are all this Medford family brought as they fled domestic violence.

Still short on personal belongings, the 29-year-old mother and two boys need warm blankets, bath towels and basic kitchen utensils, dishes and glassware. The brothers, 8 and 10, wish for playthings related to science, sports, animals and superheroes. Passes to the movies and other family-friendly activities would be a welcome diversion from the trauma they suffered.

Isolated from family, friends and any support network while living with her sons' father, the woman feared for her life and the safety of her children. She called Community Works when she was home alone after spotting a flier on a bulletin board at the boys’ school. Staff quickly went into action to move mother and children, who took nothing with them, into Dunn House Shelter.

While Dunn House provides free clothing, food and respite, along with counseling and support, it is a 30-day, emergency living arrangement. Once clients — assured of their safety -- secure employment and housing, they face rebuilding their lives and replacing their possessions.

Mother and sons said they had never felt gratitude like they did this past Thanksgiving, eating dinner, safe and smiling in their new home. Gift cards for gas and groceries would supplement the mother’s income from working two jobs to make ends meet.

Reading is a passion shared by the entire family. The older boy loves superheroes, while his younger brother wants to be a veterinarian. Both need warm socks.

To help, call Community Works at 541-779-2393, ext. 200 or ext. 213.

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