KIRSTEN ADSHEAD For State Newspaper
Natalye Booker is thankful that she doesn’t have to worry about Christmas.
“Being in low income is difficult,” she said. “You want to do so much for your kids and sometimes you just can’t. “
So Booker started joining the Empty Stocking Club when his daughter, now 24, was little.
“At first I was like, ‘Oh, I feel bad asking for help and I shouldn’t have done it,'” she said. “And I did it because I wanted her to smile. It wasn’t about me. It was about my daughter. So I walked in and I was so grateful and grateful to have the gift I made for my daughter.
Booker has since added three more children to his family, two now teenage sons and 8-year-old daughter Rue.
The years, however, have not been easy. The challenges have piled up.
A back injury. Disability. Depression.
Then, at 5 months, Rue contracted meningitis. She spent over a month in the hospital, part of that time in a coma, and suffered over 30 strokes which, among other things, made her almost deaf.
So, yes, there have been – and still are – struggles.