The family in the first Brighten A Christmas story of the season could use some good news for a change.
"This family is going through a lot," a Children Services caseworker wrote. "This is a perfect example of how mental health and poverty are inter-generational. Trauma has been passed down from Mom's family into her family."
Mom is 33, trying to raise two daughters, 11 and 14, and a son, 15, by herself.
"She does whatever she can, which includes cleaning other people's businesses, in order to provide for her family," the Children Services employee wrote.
Mom has a limited education and gets no family or outside support.
The family needs 'support around them'
"The family lives in a home that is in need of structural repairs and is located in an area of the city where crime is higher than other parts," the caseworker wrote. "The family is in need of so much, not only financially but socially.
"They need more support around them. My hope is that Mom will see that there are good people in the world and that will encourage her to learn to trust others so she will actively seek the help that she needs."
The caseworker wants to show the family there are people who care.
"My hope is that this Christmas assistance can serve as a light to the family that the community really does have their best interests at heart and wants them to not only survive, but thrive," she wrote.
Those who want to help the family in case No. 1 can contribute cash, checks or gift cards at any of the nine locations of Mechanics Bank. People who donate to a particular case should note that on the envelope.
Barb Stamper, a branch manager at the Mechanics Bank on Ashland Road, is the designated shopper. She takes donations and buys the gifts, along with household products.
Gifts will be distributed Dec. 16-17. People are asked to make donations by Dec. 10. It is especially important for people who plan to mail donations to get them in early, given the issues with mail delivery last year.
This is the 75th year for the Brighten A Christmas campaign, which launched Dec. 7, 1947, as a series of appeals encouraging groups, families and others to adopt those in need or contribute to purchase food baskets, Christmas trees, clothing and other items.
The News Journal partners with Richland County Job and Family Services on the campaign. The New Store is another contributor.
This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: Mansfield News Journal kicks off 75th year of Brighten A Christmas