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Dear Tom,

I currently work as a Mental Health Specialist for an independent group home that provides shelter and therapeutic services for men and women with mental illness and drug and alcohol issues in Nashville, Tennessee. Two months ago, my company announced at a staff meeting that our hours and pay would be cut effective immediately.   Since I only earn $8.00 an hour, my pay since October has been about $400.00 a month. That means that it has become impossible to cover all my expenses like rent, lights, water, insurance and a car note.

I am a single mom who has three, great kids, two daughters ages 2 and 17 and a 14 year-old son.   As difficult as things have gotten for our family, my children have been so supportive and good.  But, now my heart is breaking because things are so tight that my kids will wake up on Christmas morning and find that there isn’t anything from Mama under the tree for them to open.   I have been praying and trying to get help from several charity organizations, but I haven’t had any luck so far and time is running out.  Please, find it in your hearts to help me provide some joy this Christmas for my deserving children.

CHRISTMAS WISH: Shemeka Ensley  was originally published on

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