By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
It would be easy for Tanaya Crawford to only focus on the negative situations in her life, but instead she praises God, counts her blessings and continues to raise her children despite the tragedy that’s struck their life.
In February 2009, Michael Dickerson lost his life while saving the couple’s two young children from a fire that destroyed their Gardenside Terrace apartment in Jeffersonville, and everything they owned. He was able to drop the two young boys to safety from a second-story window in the apartment, but Dickerson wasn’t able to make it out in time.
“It’s been really rough,” Crawford said.
Providing for her five children isn’t always easy, but Crawford recently received some good news when she was hired for a job. She credits New Hope Services and her social worker, Amy Byers, for their help during the trying times of the past three years.
“I’m a single mother of five kids, I don’t know what I’d do without New Hope,” Crawford said.
This year, Crawford is most excited about being with all her children for Christmas. Haleigh, 14, Jayden, 5, Canaan, 4, Carlito, 1, and 6-month old Carleigha weren’t all able to be together for Christmas last year, but Crawford said it will be different this Dec. 25.
“Christmas to me is the gift of giving during the holiday season, and being with your family,” said Crawford, who is a New Albany native. “I’m really appreciative to be with my kids and all the support we’ve had, and to have New Hope in our lives.”
With their Christmas tree illuminated in their living room, there’s a buzz in the Crawford household. The children are excited about what Santa Claus may bring them this year.
“The kids are all excited for Christmas,” Crawford said. “Jayden has been counting down the days.”
The kids are hoping for toys for all ages, a computer, TV and DVDs, and room decor for Haleigh. The family’s needs include a washer and dryer, an adult bed, towels and washcloths, pots and pans, a five-point car seat, high chair, kitchen items, bedding, a dresser and hangers.
Even when hope is hard to find, Crawford said there’s always blessings to be thankful for.
“I’m just thankful to be able to have my kids with me, and for all the support we have, and most off all for Jesus,” Crawford said.
HOW TO HELP WISH BOOK FAMILIES
• The News and Tribune and New Hope Services Inc. are again partnering to help families in need this holiday season.
The easiest way to give is a financial donation; our goal this year is $6,000 to help out a family in the area. Donations of money or items can be dropped off at New Hope, 1302 Wall St., Jeffersonville.
Call Angie Olson at 812-288-4304, extension 342 for more information. Look for two more stories on Wish Book families in the weekend edition.