On Tuesday, Dec. 4 my sister Jennifer, her husband Andy and their three sons Owen, Aaron and Wyatt, lost their home and all their belongings in a devastating house fire. Thankfully everyone, including the family dog, Kash, is safe and sound, which is the important thing, but to be left with absolutely nothing is overwhelming.
A couple of people immediately started asking for donations of clothes and other items for them, and a tidal wave of generosity started that has left them and the rest of our family completely awestricken. I can honestly say that the sheer number of people who have volunteered their time, sent donations of anything and everything they would possibly need, organized drop offs and pick-ups, and sent Jennifer and Andy their love, prayers, and good wishes, is mindboggling to me. I have never been more proud to be an Islander in my life.
Jennifer and Andy have had offers of help from friends, family, neighbours, co-workers, even complete strangers. So many people have done so much. Donations have come from every part of the Island, and they have been contacted by people from all over Canada, even from England, offering to help. While I spent Tuesday, Dec. 4 crying from sadness at the loss Jennifer and Andy were facing, I have spent the last few days crying (almost) happy tears, overcome by the outpouring of love and support that they have received.
They have received so many wonderful gifts and donations, Jennifer and Andy and the boys want to pay it forward. Anything they have received which they cannot use, they will be donating so that other families in need can benefit from the amazing generosity they have been shown. With so many people facing tough times, especially close to Christmas, it is inspiring to see what Prince Edward Islanders, with such generous hearts and loving spirits, have made possible. You have helped not just our family, but many families.
Our family received a Christmas miracle this year, and we would just like to say, from the bottom of our hearts, a sincere and heartfelt thank you to one and all. I wish we could reach every single person individually to express our gratitude and appreciation. Thank you so much. God bless you. Merry Christmas, and please check your fire alarms.