Empty Stocking: Parents just want Christmas for sons

December 7, 2011

LIMA — Carol and Mike don't want or need much for themselves, but they want their sons to have a good Christmas.They turned to the Empty Stocking Fund “for the kids. I didn't know what we were going to do this year. It's about the three boys, not us,” Carol said. “They're 7 and 3 and they're anxious,” she said.With the arrival of a little brother nine months ago, the family is barely getting by. “It's tight” Carol said. “We do get a utility check. We cover our gas and electric, our car insurance, we do have a little bit of satellite TV and our basic phone service, but other than that, no extras.The boys, Greg, age 7; Pete, 3, and Bob, 9 months, enjoy playing in their new home, obtained with assistance from Metropolitan Housing. It gives them a little breathing room.“The boys couldn't run around and be boys in the old house,” Carol said.Mike lost his job as a supervisor in 2008, when the plant he worked at closed. He went back to work in 2009, the suffered injuries and is now unable to work. He's had hand, neck and knee surgery. The family is working to obtain disability benefits.Carol is looking for work. “I have a college degree in financial services and I'm not having any luck. I'm going back to school for my bachelor's degree,” she said. “I've put in application after application and just had no luck. Hopefully something will come around.” Their furniture is nearly 10 years old, but it looks nearly new. They try to take care of what they have. They don't need much, but want the children to have a good Christmas.Greg is into video games. Pete likes cars, trucks and tool sets. Bob isn't picky.“He's 9 months, he doesn't really know,” Carol said. “He likes cars though, he likes playing with his brother.”The children can always use clothes, she said. Greg wears 9/10 pants, 8/10 shirts 2 1/2 shoes and size 8/10 coats.Pete wears 5/6 pants, 5/6 shirt, size 1 shoes and size 4 coats.Bob wears 12 month clothes, size 5 toddler shoes and size 4 diapers.Mike is recuperating from surgery, but is ready to pitch in if Carol gets a job.“He'll take care of what he can around the house,” she said. “We'll get through this, we always do.”The Empty Stocking Fund benefits three cooperating agencies: Bradfield Community Center, Cheryl Allen Southside Community Center and the Salvation Army. Money can be donated by sending it to The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima OH 45807, or by dropping it off at any Superior Federal Credit Union branch. Donations of new toys and nonperishable food items will be accepted at The Lima News office. For past stories, go to These stories use assumed names to protect the participants' privacy.