Carolyn, a single mother of a 4-year-old boy, felt as if her life was spiraling out of control after she and her son, James, became homeless.

She had to give up her home in Stevensville because she couldn’t afford rent and barely had enough money to feed her family.

Carolyn decided the only way to overcome poverty was to go back to school and finish earning her college degree — which, of course, would bring on more expenses.

But Carolyn figured, in the long run, she and James would be better off if she had a higher chance of getting a stable job that pays a livable wage.

While Carolyn still is struggling to make ends meet, she found a place for her and James to live until she’s finished school. Carolyn’s not sure how long her family will have to stay in their current living environment, but she’s trying her best to make it feel like home.

James is young and may not notice the lack of furniture in their place, but Carolyn wants it to feel warm and inviting for him, especially as the cold winter approaches.

Carolyn is hoping, with a little help from strangers, she can make James’s face light up on Christmas morning with a gift or two, and maybe with a new winter coat, of which James is much in need.

Your donation to The Star Democrat’s Brighter Christmas Fund could help Carolyn and James during the holiday season. Tax-deductible donations, which also help other families in need on the Mid-Shore, may be sent to: The Brighter Christmas Fund, c/o The Star Democrat, P.O. Box 600, Easton, MD 21601. Donations also may be made online at www.stardem.com/brighter_christmas_fund/donate/. Click the “Donate” button. For more information, call 410-200-1884 or email bcf@chespub.com.

The total to date is: $71,706.64.

Those sharing the spirit of giving with others this holiday include:

Charles Paul Goebel, architect

Barbara and John Reisinger

Mike and Maureen Jacobs

Colonial Jewelers

In memory of Pat and Kay McFadden

In memory of Emery and Tam Hertelendy

Jack and Doris Hall

Anonymous

Peter Howell

Ann Harding

Robert Hinkel

Karin and Dick Ramsburg

Diana Miles

In memory of John Gadsby

Mason Little

In memory of my mother, Mary Ann Massey

In memory of my father, Ronald J. Wanner

In honor of our grandchildren, Ellie and Tripp Massey

Linda Wilt

The Spurry Family

In memory of Leon and Ethel Lowery and Leon Lowery Jr. and Sallie Muir

In memory of John and Dorothy Tjaden

In memory of Sunday, MJ and Joe

In honor of Libby and Ava

Margaret Carter

In honor of grandchildren River and Gavreel

In thanksgiving for the Possitive Strides Volunteers

In memory of Sandy and Billy Cooper

In memory of Betty Callahan

In memory of Dan and Ann Shortall

Charles Paul Goebel Architect

Claude and Carolyn Edwards

In Memory of Dan and Ann Shortall

Irv and Vicki Kohne

In memory of Ernest, Mae and Lathern

In honor of Libby and Ava

Talbot County government employees

In memory of Betty Callahan

In memory of Dan and Ann Shortall

Patricia and Ralph Case

Patrick Mosner

The Mary Lou Mosner Memorial Foundation

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