|Janine Rioux and her boys, Joshua, 7, front, Brayden, 8, middle, and Jordan, 11, back, are thankful for their fresh Christmas tree.|
Even though the single parent doesn't have any other family in Kelowna, she is determined to make it a special day. Without help from the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, Jordan, 11, Brayden, 8, and Joshua, 7, "would not have much or any Christmas," Rioux said this week.
"I work full-time but my pay cheques are just enough to barely cover our living expenses with very little left over. I also have a genetic medical condition which occasionally leaves me hospitalized with no pay."
In October, for example, she was in hospital for two weeks, which means it will take her months to catch up financially.
Even while living pay cheque to pay cheque, Rioux bought the Christmas tree she wanted, thanks to a local farmer's generosity
"We already have a tree. That is the one tradition I will not break," Rioux said with a laugh. "We actually go and get a fresh tree every year from a local farm. And he's really good. He will accept two post-dated cheques to cover it. The kids are so excited to always go get their fresh tree."
There was such a long waiting list for the after-school program of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs that her boys had to wait two years, but were finally accepted in September. "They love it actually. Out of all the child care they've had, it's the best that they've ever had. It's been fabulous," said their mother.
The boys are also enrolled in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. They will be going to their dad's house in Kamloops for a few days, but otherwise, they are sticking close to home in Kelowna during the holidays.
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