As the holiday season was just beginning, Mr. and Mrs. Jackson (name changed) suffered through a holiday nightmare. Faulty wiring sparked a fire that destroyed their rental home during the weekend after Thanksgiving. They escaped unharmed, but unfortunately they didn’t have renters insurance and lost everything in the blaze except the clothes they were wearing.
Disaster One witnesses these tragic events all too often. As a disaster restoration company we typically come alongside people at their worst moments. It’s always heartbreaking to see, but it’s magnified when it happens during the holidays.
We learned of the Jackson family through our friends at the American Red Cross. The Jacksons have 14 grandchildren, all boys. They had already purchased all of their Christmas presents for this year but they were all lost in the fire. That loss was more upsetting to them than losing their furniture and other daily necessities. The only thing that mattered now was they didn’t have anything to give to the grandbabies.
Who could see this and not be compelled to do something?
Several of our employees quickly “adopted” the Jackson family and set out to restore their Christmas. They first dashed to the stores and soon returned with 3 remote control cars, video games, team hats, a Lego set, headphones, gift cards and more. Once the grandkids’ gifts were secured, they turned their attention to Mr. and Mrs. Jackson. They gathered towels and washcloths, silverware, a set of glasses, gift cards to Walmart and Dollar Tree, lights, decorations, and gift wrapping supplies. One employee even donated a Christmas tree.
Next, they connected the Jacksons with the Salvation Army to obtain vouchers for clothing. Finally they showed the Jacksons how to use Craigslist and the “Free” segment which has allowed them to get furniture.
When the Jacksons moved into their new rental last Sunday, their only possessions were the Christmas tree and other donations from our employees. Mr. Jackson told us it was the most beautiful tree they have ever seen, and he saw a smile on his wife’s face for the first time in 5 weeks.
We share this story not to pat ourselves on the back but to showcase how a little bit of effort can mean the world to someone with such misfortune. We hope the next time you see an opportunity you’ll seize it and help someone too. It will give you an incredibly good feeling.