Last week my house in Belfast was burgled, ransacked and completely trashed. The worse bit was that the perpetrators wrecked my children’s bedrooms and stole their Christmas presents.
Normally, something like this would have ruined the Christmas of many a family.
My children had lost most of their things and were afraid of staying in their own house because of the damage which was done by the intruders.
I am from the United States and have no family in Northern Ireland, but the kindness, support and help of friends and acquaintances has been overwhelming.
Everything, from a fully decorated Christmas tree, gifts, vouchers, sweeties and other donations from so many kind and thoughtful people have made it possible for me to give my four children the Christmas that was almost taken from them.
Someone said the burglary was newsworthy, but the emphasis should not be on what was taken, but on what these thoughtful people have given us in return.
It is the value of their friendship and the sense of community that makes Belfast feel like home.
They have shown my children what Christmas is truly about and we wish them many blessings in return.
Thank you so much to all of those who have helped us in any way during this traumatic time .
We want them all to know how greatly we appreciate everything they have done for us. The spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Belfast.