Firewood at the top of needed gifts

Empty Stocking: Bathroom, firewood top list of needed gifts

Son also would like to repair parents’ roof


LIMA — A Christmas wreath on the wall of the porch includes the message of “Christmas Cheer found here” and a Nativity scene blessing the front yard stands as a symbol to the Christmas spirit inside the home.


A couple of stacks of firewood and a small crate of broken up pieces of wood pallets provides a glimpse into the hardships of the elderly couple living inside this Lima home.


Their son Vincent, who does not have a full-time job but takes odd jobs in the area to help make ends meet, says he does whatever he can to help his parents and he really would like to make some improvements to their home in an effort to make their life easier starting this Christmas.


“My mom has to have her Christmas decorations out,” Vincent said. “I have the Nativity scene done and I still have to put out her Rudolph [reindeer] and sleigh. She would do it for us when we were kids and she deserves to have these little things out to brighten her day.”


His mother, Karen, had heart surgery four years ago and has more recently battled cancer. His father, James, got hurt at work in the heavy equipment industry a decade ago and has not been permitted to return to work.


Vincent and his parents and four siblings moved into this house in 1978 and they have shared Christmases there ever since.


This Christmas he would like to replace the bathtub and the floor in their house because their old tub leaks and leaking water has ruined the floor around the tub.


“I just need some money to get them a new tub and some flooring or they could donate the items,” Vincent said. “I am good with my hands so I could put the flooring down and put the tub in for them.”


He has been using caulk around the tub to keep it from leaking, but this method has been exhausted. He also has been doing what he can to keep the floor solid, but there is not much more he can do.


Vincent also mentioned his parents could use one or two space heaters and more firewood as the winter season hits.


“They don’t have any heat, they just burn the wood,” Vincent said. “I usually accumulate pallets and cut those down and plus use the logs — so mainly they just need some logs. The front part of their house is pretty cold until they get a fire going.”


His parents’ house also needs a new roof including shingles and plywood sheets or pressed plywood sheets. Vincent said he didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to ask for too much.


He described his parents as “hard workers their entire life and always have done for others.” While his 70-year-old father worked, his mother, who turned 73 on Saturday, worked as a waitress and raised her own children while baby-sitting others.


He said this is his chance to do something to improve their lives.


“They have paid their dues in this life,” Vincent said. “I am just trying to give them a nice Christmas.”