Fun 107 and The United Way of Greater New Bedford recognize that many families this year have dealt with some serious obstacles. Jennylynn and Tim Thomas from Wareham are no exception. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Jennylyn and Tim were both out of a job and became fully dependent on unemployment, which will be running out any day now.

“Honestly, every penny I got from unemployment I would give (to rent),” Jennylynn said. "And I would go without getting other stuff like winter clothes or school clothes.” She said her children are in desperate need of clothes.

The struggle becomes even more serious when you factor in their seven children, ages 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, and 12. The Thomas family lives in a very small apartment in Wareham, leaving some family members without a bed at night.

Tim struggles from back pain which is making him lose feeling in his hands and legs, so getting a job right now is on the shoulders of Jennylynn. She has tried throughout the year to sustain a job, and even had letters of recommendation ready to help her get into school to become a substance abuse counselor, but now that their children are in a hybrid setting for school, Jennylyn and Tim have to stay home to take care of the kids.

As if raising seven children isn’t challenging enough, Jennylynn and Tim have to balance school education from home, figuring out where their next meal will come from, and how to keep the lights on in their apartment with no jobs.

Unfortunately, the Thomas family are no strangers to doctor appointments, either. The oldest child has ADHD and is bipolar, the second oldest has ADHD and a mild case of cerebral palsy, and the third oldest also has ADHD. No jobs mean no insurance, and those bills can be unforgiving.

When you have seven children, the Christmas list is bound to be a long one, but they all seem to agree that an Xbox One with enough controllers would be incredible. Tablets were also on the list because they currently do not have a computer, making at-home learning in 2020 very difficult. A Nintendo Switch and Huaraches were also on their list.

Here are the children's' sizes:

  • Kinzleigh, 12-18 month, shoe size 5 (baby)
  • Timmy, 3T, shoe size 10.5-11 (kids)
  • Danni-Lyn, 5-6, shoe size 12.5 (kids)
  • Jamieson, 6-7, shoe size 2.5 (kids)
  • Keiffer, 10-12, shoe size 6 (men's)
  • Haleigh, 10-12, shoe size 2.5 (kids)
  • David, 10-12, shoe size 5.5 (men's)

When it comes to Jennylynn and Tim, they are currently two months behind on their rent and owe over $1,000 on their gas and electric bills, so the thought of letting their children down this Christmas certainly keeps them up at night.

If you can find it in your heart to make their holiday wishes come true, whether it’s checking off a Christmas item or donating any denomination, here’s how you can do it:

Text to Donate: Text WISHES to 313131. You will be sent a United Way e-link that allows you to make a donation via credit card to this family when you select the day and date of which family you wish to help from the drop-down menu.

By Check: Make checks payable to the United Way of Greater New Bedford and in the memo line, write HOLIDAY WISH and the day and date of the family you wish to help. Checks can be mailed to United Way of Greater New Bedford, 128 Union Street, Suite 105, New Bedford, MA 02740.

Donate by Credit Card: You can make a secure donation to the United Way via credit card HERE. Select the day and date of the family you wish to help from the "Please Select a Family" drop-down menu.

All of our families are pre-selected through the United Way of Greater New Bedford. If you are in need of assistance, please contact the United Way directly.

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