Dec 24, 2008 6:04 pm US/Central
In Time For Holidays, Amazing Gift To Fire Victims
BURNSVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) ”•
- The check for $17,500 came from a Secret Santa, someone who doesn’t want the spotlight, exactly two days after the apartment fire. The person just wants the families to know people care.
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If you need proof that the Christmas spirit is alive and well, you’ll definitely believe it when you hear what happened to some Burnsville families. They lost their homes two nights ago after fire ripped through their apartment complex and burned five dozen units.
Since then, so many people have been giving to the families with money donations and food and clothes that have been collected.
Now one special gift stands out among many of the others.
“I just got my check,” exclaimed Maria Augilar, who lived in an apartment in the Burncliff Apartments.
It’s a very extreme Christmas gift of $1 million to the fire victims that no one saw coming, and it makes her want to cry.
“It’s really, really real, and I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.
The check for $17,500 came from a Secret Santa, someone who doesn’t want the spotlight, exactly two days after the apartment fire. The person just wants the families to know people care.
Two hundred people got out fine, but many didn’t have time to save what was important to them. It seemed their hope for a happy Christmas was destroyed just as quickly as their homes were.
Maria lived in her home with her three children.
“I saw my apartment on fire. That’s when I panicked, because all my childhood memories are gone,” said Michelle Sanchez, Maria’s daughter.
“Pictures of my kids, when they were a baby, unfortunately, those are never going to be recovered, and it’s so hard,” remarked Maria.
She was devastated after the fire and wondered how would she get by and replace all that was lost. Putting presents under the tree seemed like the least of her worries, but not anymore.
Someone saved the day, donating a million dollars to the building’s residents. The money was split between all 64 units that were destroyed.
“Things are so hard right now, but whoever the people are who donated this money, thank you so much, to bring us a little bit brighter … especially now,” said Maria.
She plans to buy beds for her children and use the rest of the money just to start over. She’s gone from heartbreak to happiness in just hours, thanks to a generous gift.
“Thank you so much,” Maria said.