Electric bill paid by Neediest Cases Fund lightens load for Kristi Orick's family

Kristi Orick, far right, shoots a selfie with her family and loved ones in front of a Christmas tree on Saturday. They are, from left, Summer Orick, 14, Andrew Hudson, 11, Cayden Hudson, 10, and Scottie Bryant. / Courtesy photo by Kristi Orick

Kristi Orick had finally reached the point at which her best just didn't quite get the job done.

Orick shares her Dayton, Tennessee, home with her boyfriend, Scottie Bryant, and her three children – Summer, 14, Andrew, 11, and Cayden, 10. She said that during the 2020-21 school year, her daily routine consisted of getting her kids ready and on the bus, then driving Bryant 36 miles in their one car to his job in Soddy-Daisy.

"That's a lot of miles," Orick said. "I barely had enough time to get him to work after getting the kids on the bus."

Things got a little easier when summer came, but Bryant's job – or, more precisely, his wage – was a problem.

"After all that driving, factoring in the cost of gas, he was only bringing home $100 to $125 per week," Orick said.