A Christmas miracle: Strangers reach out to help a family in nee - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

A Christmas miracle: Strangers reach out to help a family in need

The kindness of strangers isn't something a Hopkins family will soon forget.   

The family of six lost everything in an accidental fire. Now the family is calling the outpouring of support nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

It was a post on Facebook that quickly spread the word of the West family's need. 

Within three days, the temporary house, they're church supplied was filled with furniture, and while the family still needs some items, it will be a Merry Christmas thanks to strangers they now call friends.

Pouring rain showers did little to dampen the holiday spirit for Katie Carter, her boyfriend Buddy and his Aunt and Uncle. 

These elves had a serious job, delivering a load of furniture to help the West family, who until the fire last week were strangers.

"I've seen the best of humanity this past weekend," said Katie.

That's because a simple Facebook post, encouraged strangers to pull their resources and donate.

"We've gotten a full living room set donated," Katie added. "Someone went into the Thrift Store paid for it I have no idea who it was; we just had to go pick it up."

After all, the West family, Jolana and the five kids, sixteen through nine, lost everything just a week before Christmas.

"What am I going to do, where am I going to go?" asked Jolana.

Jolana's church provided a house, used in emergencies.

"They didn't have heat, central heat and they weren't going to be able to get it until they got the money for propane," said Katie. "I went yesterday and they said the heaters they had bought with gift cards that were donated, tripped their breakers so she slept in her coat the night before."

An anonymous donor filled the propane tank.  Susan Burns who didn't know Jolana or Katie, donated bunk beds, because it was the right thing to do.

"It actually makes me feel people have hearts nowadays," said Jolana.

Someone even donated a Christmas tree.

"They were dying to get the tree up," Jolana added.

The show of love has turned this tragedy around.

"I thought it was a disaster but it's actually a blessing in disguise," said Jolana.

Blessings that's changed a few hearts, and while the West family is struggling to get back on their feet, it's a Christmas they won't soon forget.

"I plan on giving back 100-percent, so if there's anybody else that experiences something like this I will be sure to give back,"  said Jolana.

Paying it forward and maybe eventually helping someone in a similar circumstance.

The West family says they can't thank the families who've helped them enough.  Monday afternoon another donation of $500 was made for last minute Christmas gifts. 

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