By DOUG WILSON
Herald-Whig Senior Writer
A single father with four children hopes a medical training program will give him the skills to provide a better home for him and his children.
Alan, not his real name, and the four children in his family are Case No. 46 in the Good News of Christmas campaign. They are one of 47 families in Western Illinois and Northeast Missouri who will receive support from the 24th annual campaign.
"He's a very respectful person, a very nice young man who is determined to come out on top," a caseworker familiar with Alan said.
Education could be Alan's path to a better life. He recently completed a prerequisite for entering a medical technology program. Upon completion, he will have a chance to hold a job that would provide a head-of-household wage.
Alan returned to his former hometown after a divorce. He made the move to pursue his career goals, and he has support from local family members. His mother and other relatives help care for the four children, ranging in age from 2 to 8.
"He is enrolled in some classes and is working in return from the assistance he is receiving at this time," his caseworker said. "He is not looking for a handout."
A stove and refrigerator are among the family's greatest needs. The children also need dressers for their clothing. The family also needs kitchen and bathroom towels, washcloths and dishcloths.
A toddler needs a snowsuit, children's books, a car house for matchbook cars, a pillow pet and riding toy.
An 8-year-old daughter wants a Sleepytime pet, Barbie dolls and doll clothing, boots, Hannah Montana books, and clothing.
Two boys' wish lists include sleds, a riding truck, Matchbox cars, a Play-Doh kit, coats, shoes, a Lego glow-in-the-dark and hero factory sets, a Pillow Pet and Sleepytime pet, and DS games such as Mario Cart 7 and Pokemon Black/White.
Alan has asked for tennis shoes and gift certificates to local stores that could help meet some of the family's needs.
"He was not asking for much for himself. He said it was all about the kids," his caseworker said.
Drop boxes for the Good News of Christmas can be found at the The Quincy Herald-Whig, Kmart, Shopko, Wal-Mart, the Quincy Mall customer service desk near Krieger's, and outside Bergner's, JC Penney, Sam's Club and Farm & Home Supply.
More information about how to help the campaign is available by calling Dustin Hall or Nathan Daly at 506-1783.