By DEBORAH GERTZ HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
A man laid off from his job several years ago works wherever and whenever he can to provide for his three daughters.
However, there won't be much for Christmas again this year for Jim, not his real name, and his daughters, ages 11, 14 and 15.
The family is Case 31 in The Quincy Herald-Whig's Good News of Christmas campaign. The 24th annual campaign seeks to help struggling area families during the holiday season.
Help at the holidays "would mean the world to him," a caseworker familiar with the family said. "It's just a boost for them to have a Christmas where they have some new stuff for a change. They generally don't do much for Christmas."
Jim has been caring for the girls on his own for that last eight years after their mother got in trouble with the law.
"He's a person who doesn't ask for anything, who doesn't want much," the caseworker said. "All he asked for was necessities, but I did add some things most girls would like, clothing items, something actually new for a change. They get a lot of secondhand things, things handed down, and they've been satisfied with that."
Even when the caseworker asked Jim to talk to the girls about their Christmas wishes, they didn't have much to say.
"They said: "We know your circumstances. Don't worry about Christmas this year,' " the caseworker said. "They're very understanding young ladies."
Big-ticket needs for the family are a washer, a full-size bed and three small dressers. The family also needs an area rug, bath towels, washcloths, a rug, shower curtain, silverware and bedding. Jim and the girls need clothes, socks and shoes. A curling iron, flat iron, makeup, hair ties and accessories, and a compact disc player would be nice for the two older girls, while the youngest girl would enjoy lip gloss, hair accessories, a CD player and games such as Monopoly or checkers. The whole family would enjoy a Wii game system.
Help from the campaign would be a boost as Jim continues to search for a full-time job with benefits.
"He's very appreciative," the caseworker said. "He was constantly thanking me."
Good News drop-off boxes are provided in the lobby of The Quincy Herald-Whig; at ShopKo, Farm & Home, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sam's Club, and the Quincy Mall service desk area; and outside both Bergner's and JC Penney at the mall.
For more information about how to help the campaign, call Dustin Hall or Nathan Daly at 506-1783.