This year, B98.5′s Tad, Drex and Kara are giving deserving local families a “Merry Little Christmas” filled with some big gifts, thanks to your generosity! With your help, we were able to make sure these families and kids have a great Christmas!
Meet the Merry Little Christmas Families:
The Gossett Family
The Gossett family is working to get things back on track. Robert has had a hard time working full-time after an accident at work that injured his back about a year and a half ago. Things haven’t been the same for him since and his back injury that causes awful pain. As Robert was the main provider for his family, it has put them in a bind. Mom, Amber, is working to try to help catch them up on things but her attention really needs to be at home. They have 2 amazing boys who are both special needs and the parents would do anything for them, but this time of year makes things difficult.
The Carr Family
The Carr’s are in need of a little holiday cheer this Christmas. Just a couple of years ago, it seemed like everything was going perfectly, until dad, Joshua, was laid off from his job. At the time they had just moved out of an apartment into a house, got a new car, and everything was great. Since then they had to move out of the house and give up the new car due to a lower paying job. Recently Joshua landed a dream job, but the family is still recovering financially. The kids have been completely resilient and understanding during all of this. Joshua and MaryBeth just want to be able to keep the Christmas magic alive this year.
The Sims Family
The Sims are an amazing family, but the economy has hit them hard this year. Both parents, Beatrell and Shannon, lost their jobs this year and are getting by on dad’s military benefits, but it difficult to cover a family of four. They’re such caring and giving people, and even though they could use a little extra right now, they still find ways to help others. They recently welcomed their second child in October and have a very energetic 7-year-old. They haven’t been fortunate enough to have a family outing this year and deserve to have some time to relax together. Family and friends of the Sims would love and appreciate if this family had a chance to do something as a family this year and enjoy their Christmas together.
The Bullock-Tubman Family
The Bullock-Tubman family is in need of a little extra holiday cheer this year. Robert was in a car accident and broke his back about a year ago; since then he hasn’t been able to work construction, which is where his skills are. The mom, Elizabeth, was just able to return to work but it took a while due to health issues of her own. Making ends meet when you have 5 kids can be difficult under normal circumstances, but this past year has made it harder than ever. Elizabeth’s father passed due to Covid-19 just before Christmas 2021 and the holidays haven’t been the same without him. Now, the father of her eldest daughter has filed for full custody of his daughter. On top of all the financial and emotional upheaval they’ve been through, they’re now also having to pay lawyers to try to keep their very close family together. Christmas is going to be very tight this year for them and any help is sure to put a smile on their faces.
The Hatcher Family
The Hatcher family is overcoming loss this holiday season. Earlier this year they lost their 2-year-old, Joshua, who had been born prematurely and had complications since birth. The loss of their youngest family member was a blow to the entire family. The mother, Erica missed a lot of work taking care of Joshua and the family has gotten behind on things. This holiday season we’d like to do a little to bring some cheer to the Hatcher family.
The Phillips Family
Throughout the past year the Phillips family, with three children under the age of 6, has had to move three times. They felt they had finally found a stable home but had to move out just a few months later because the owner wanted to renovate in order to increase the rent. They recently found a very tiny trailer, though they spent almost every dollar they had between all the moves. They are a one-income family, as they have a 2-year-old and cannot afford daycare. The mother told us, “we have struggled so much this year and by the grace of God we are all healthy and have a place to live, but Christmas is looking very scarce this year.”
The McClendon Family
The McClendon’s have had a rough few years. Leslie has been taking care of her grandchildren ever since her daughter passed away a few years back. Her oldest grand-daughter is in special classes for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and occasionally needs a little special attention. This year, on Halloween morning they were in a car accident and have been borrowing cars from family members until they’re able to get new transportation. Leslie works and does everything she can to support her grandbabies, but it can be difficult. Merry Little Christmas would be a wonderful way to brighten their spirits and lighten a bit of the load this holiday season.
The Kocsis Family
The Kocsis family is very hard working, kind, loving, and they deserve a break. They lost their home during Covid, and almost 2 years later are still trying to find one! Thankfully they were able to stay with Cory’s mom after months of going back and forth between hotel rooms and campgrounds. Cory just got an awesome promotion at work into management, however, since he and mom, Wendy, worked in the same place, she had to leave her job and is having a hard time finding somewhere to accommodate the hours she can work because of the 4 kids and one car. These 2 people are incredible. No matter what the universe throws at them, they start each day with a smile and do whatever it takes to make sure their children are happy, feel loved, and have what they need. This family definitely deserves a Merry Little Christmas!
The Richardson Family
The Richardson family is in need of some Christmas joy. Brittani and Stephen are small business owners in Flowery Branch. Sometimes, when owning your own business, things arise and happen that are out of your control, and a few of those have come up this year. These things have made budgets very tight and at times it’s difficult to only be able to provide the necessities. As parents of two awesome kids, it’s difficult to be unable to provide for the family. This family is always willing to give to others as much as they can and are a pillar of their community. Their son, Hudson, just turned six and does not understand why Santa does not bring him as many gifts as he brings other little boys and girls. Their daughter is always so understanding, but as a parent you know down deep it hurts her too. It would be amazing to see them receive a little back this Christmas.
The Laudicina Family
The Laudicina family has been through so much with both the grandmother, Judy, and one sister, Frances, being diagnosed with cancer. All four sisters have been helping take care of their mother and each other’s children during these stressful times, but resources are wearing thin. Most likely none of the four children in the family will have a Christmas this year. It’s been difficult for the family to plan events or holidays together without having to consider doctor and chemotherapy appointments. The recovery process from treatments has stolen so much of their family time together. With so much focus on illness, the Laudicinas are hoping to spend a few days relaxing and just enjoying one another this holiday season. Seeing the excitement on the children’s faces on Christmas would be wonderful after such a difficult year.
The Hendricks Family
The Hendricks family has had a bit of a rough time the past few years. The father, Nick, was in a single car accident on 10/16/2020. He was life flighted to Grady Trauma Center, where he had multiple surgeries to repair crushed feet and his left leg, spending 3 total weeks in that hospital. He was not able to work for 2 years during his physical therapy, and has only started back to work several months ago. They had to give up their home and move in with relatives. Wife and mother, Dana, cared for Nick while he was bedridden and kept the family together. She has given her heart and soul, and done without for herself for the sake of her husband and their three amazing kids. Any help for them would give some amazing encouragement and would be uplifting for their family.
The Archer Family
The Archer Family is Lori and her 17-year old son. Lori said “I don’t want anything for myself but my son deserves a nice Christmas. I’m on disability and with the rise of prices I’ve been unable to make ends meet. This young man gets up before daylight and does his homework. He then attends high school full time. Directly after school he has wrestling practice (hoping for a scholarship). He leaves practice and goes to work untill 11pm. He then comes home, eats and passes out. He will do extra work on the side.” She also told us “our 16 year old dog just died and we are both devastated” by this loss.
The Latham Family
The Latham Family has four children ages 17, 14, 6 and 4 months. The 4-month-old was recently in the hospital with RSV and other viruses, and had a rough start to life in the NICU. The mother suffered severe complications during the birth resulting in a very large hospital bill. Currently both parents drive from Atlanta to Newnan every day for a friend to help with childcare so that the baby is not exposed to viruses in a traditional daycare setting. The friend who nominated this family told us “they are sad, stressed, and struggling but with a smile and always being nice. The mom is a school bus driver and takes 3 of her kids to work with her at 4am every morning. They could use a Merry Christmas!”
The Dodson Family
The Dodson family is in need of a little extra holiday cheer this year. Rebecca is a single mom who has recently been displaced due black mold in the home she was renting. The mold took over many areas of the home and caused both her and her son to get sick. Rebecca then lost her job because of missed work when she was sick from the mold. She is working hard to get out of the situation, but even a little help this Christmas would go a long way. Her son, Jordan, is an amazing young man. He excels at school and on the football field. He’s staying with a relative for now while Rebecca works on finding a new home. He’s been the best you could ask for through the situation. Both Rebecca and Jordan truly deserve a Merry Little Christmas.
The Smith Family
The Smith family has had a tough year. They lost their home due to an increase in rent and their car broke down not long after. Mom, Holly, is a dental hygiene student who is struggling to pay for school tuition and boards review. Things have gotten to the point where they are having to decide between paying bills or buying groceries. The kids are in need of things like new coats this winter, but it just doesn’t seem possible to buy them right now. Her kids have been so amazing and resilient through this hard time and it would mean the world if they would be able to have a Christmas.
The Dodgen Family
Heather and her children, ages 5, 7, and 8, have had a rough year. Heather lost her husband about 9 months ago due to a hard fought battle with a rare form of cancer. She is a Pediatric Registered Nurse and continues to work to support her 3 amazing children. Some days are hard, painful, and overwhelming but they have been trying their best to keep pushing. They want to remember how hard he fought for them by living a life that will honor him. Heather wishes to provide the best Christmas possible for her children during this difficult time
The Snyder Family
Heather is a single mom who lost her job a few months back. She’s doing everything she can to make ends meet. Currently Heather does part-time delivery services, but it just isn’t enough. She’s been working hard to bring in additional income but with the current economy, it’s difficult and there are things her children need. Her heart hurts, wishing she could provide for her children when she’s struggling. Due to the age of her four amazing kids, all between the ages of 6 months and 5-years-old, it’s difficult for them to understand the situation that they’re currently facing. Besides wants, they need coats, clothes, shoes, socks, and educational toys.
The Blanton Family
Jamie has been trying to get back on her feet. She burned her hands at a young age and lost feeling in them, making working hard at times. Just after Jamie was finally able to find a job that works with her and began to get ahead in life, her daughter had to have a major knee surgery and orthodontic braces. Jamie is a devoted mother and is taking care of her daughter until she makes a full recovery, but Jamie will be out of work until then. Jamie always tries to help others however she can, even with her own dwindling resources and a car in need of repairs. Her daughter loves to draw and has only asked for 1 thing for Christmas, a beginners drawing tablet that doesn’t need a computer. They love to spend time playing board games and Jamie is even teaching her daughter to sew. With hospital bills looming over them, Jamie would be very appreciative for the chance to get to spoil her daughter just a little this holiday season.
The Williams Family
The Williams Family is Misty and her four children ages 2, 7,11, and 17. Phoenix was recently diagnosed with Level 3 non-verbal Autism. Misty is the Mother and father for her children. She is the first one awake and the the last one down at night. Misty does everything she can for her two girls to make everything fun and exciting for them during the school year, especially during special events. The eldest son, Hunter, is a senior in high school and attends school full time. He also works to help with family expenses while finishing his high school education. He walks to and from work because he does not have a vehicle. Misty is also raising a step-daughter from a previous relationship.. Misty started her own business two years ago, Bliss Bars And More, in hopes to be with her children more freely and still strives to put her children first.
The Lowen Family
The Lowen Family is Jason, Leanne and two daughters (13 and 16 years old). Leanne was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and successfully beat it as of this summer. Unfortunately, she is now experiencing other health issues. Leanne has been a special education teacher for years and currently is a supervisor. She misses working with her teachers and planning events like the Special Olympics. Their friend nominated the family saying, “Her daughters are so supportive and have been by her side through so many issues, all while excelling in their sports... I’d love to see this family get some happiness and support and take some stress off of Leanne who worries about everyone and especially the impact her being sick has had on her girls.”
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