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The Story of the "Christmas Miracle"

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Alliance

Now that the holidays have passed, we wanted to take a moment and share with you how your generosity made Christmas, and every day living, a little brighter for the "Christmas Miracle" family of eight. The Sowder's were victims of a devastating fire, losing almost everything they owned...and having no renter's insurance for replacement items.  The family, Mom & Dad, and 6 kids ages 9, 7, 6, 4, 1.5 and 2 months, were able to secure another home to rent but moved in without much.  They were given donations of a few beds and a kitchen table to get them started. 

We were notified of the wishes of the family...just some basic necessities for the home like dishes, pots and pans; however, we knew the need was really greater than that.  So we sent a bulk email and a Facebook post...which was forwarded on by many...and BOOM, we have over 100 families and several businesses helping to provide not only Christmas for this family, but an opportunity to put their home back together.

The community support for our Christmas Miracle Family was so great that 2 full rooms of new and gently-used items were donated to help the family get back on their feet.  We received so many donations that the items were sorted and organized based on this family's needs and age or size appropriate items for all family members.  Duplicate items were set aside with the goal to donate to a second organization in need in Miami County. 

The family was shocked when we delivered all of the items collected, donated and purchased just days before Christmas (and collected in only 8 days time).  The joy in their eyes was heart warming and there were not enough words to express their appreciation. 

Each child received 2 large bags of gently used clothing, plus several new pairs of pants, several new shirts, new socks, new underwear, new PJ's, new winter coat, new gloves and hat, and new shoes.  Each child received 4 new toys for Christmas plus a filled stocking.  And each child received 3 bags of gently used toys.  The parents each received a box of gently used clothes, new hat and gloves, and several new kitchen items and appliances including a vacuum, coffee pot, iron, silverware, everyday dishes, glasses, toaster, measuring cups and measuring spoons.  They were also given a gently used microwave, dishes, pots, pans, utensils and a DVD player.  We also gave the family new DVD's and a few new family board games.  They were given a mix of new and gently used Christmas decorations, towels, new twin sized bedding, mattress pad and crib bedding, 3 dressers and 8 brand new kitchen table chairs.  They were given baskets of cleaning products, laundry detergent, toiletries, toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, diapers and wipes.  They were given wrapping paper, tape and bows to use to wrap up all of the new items for the children for Christmas. They were also given gift cards to Target, Kohl's and Wal-Mart.  To say it was a miracle for this family is an understatement.

The organization chosen to receive the duplicate items was The Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County.  This important organization provides shelter to victims of domestic abuse or those facing homelessness through this very cold winter.  The Family Abuse Shelter operates two individual shelters- The Franklin House, a woman and children's shelter, and The Buckeye House, a men's shelter.  The Franklin House and The Buckeye House rely heavily on donations from the community and the items donated help each man or women start a new life with all the necessities once they leave the shelter.  Duplicate items set aside from the donations for the Christmas Miracle Family were paid forward to the Shelter and included baby/infant items, clothing for all ages, household items, toys & games, and bedding needs...over 60 bags/boxes!  Many of the donations were able to provide an additional "Christmas Miracle" for the residents of the Shelter this year, and we have been told that this donation will help over 25 families in the area.

The community support and help of over 100 families and several local businesses in a short time of just 8 days was amazing.  Though many donations were anonymous, we wanted to take the time to recognize and thank those people who helped us succeed in this effort (and we apologize if we have missed anyone's name).

Sincere Thanks and Gratitude to:

RE/MAX Professionals, PECo, Carli Amlin Dean, Lori Spencer, Chabree Yardlay Grove, David Besecker, Larry and Glenna LeMonds, Reed Spencer, Al Batteiger, Ruth Safreed, Carol Porter, Marlene Wagner, Lourie Rothstein, Jessica Van Schaick, Angie McMurry, Sandy Alex, Brian and Brenda Mahaney, Maggie Veres, Susan Essex, Kelly and Dee Gillis, Teresa Brown, Erin Clyne, Amber Baumer, Tammy Hershey, Red and Marti Newsome, Chad and Shanon Davidson, The Root Beer Stand - Troy, Matt and Tracey Jackson, Carmelia Fox, Sara Preston, Mike Stucke, Helene Wirth, Karima Buchholtz, Bill and Jackie Rodenberg, Kathy Headapohl, Stefany Stuchell, Brian and Amy Case, Cindy Fenter, Cathy Ross, Liz Caton, John and Lynne Schneider, Greg and Samantha Enslen, Andrea Nay, Doug and Tracy Lohnes, DeeDee Bender, Shirley Black, Toni Bader, Stacy Nelson, Amy Bailey, Juli Lutz, Lori Turner, Jumpy's - Troy, Title Wave, Sheri Cartwright, Carrie Rollison, Brian Amlin, Paul and Gina Felghum, Stephanie Gress, Valerie Naas, Tina Phillips-Bradley, Linda Wood, Deborah Griffith, Kathy Taylor, Katie Sonnonstine, Carol English, Colleen Renner, Mellissa Cairns, Cairns Toy Store - Tipp City, Pinky Scout - A Children's Boutique, William and Sheri Dulaney, Beth Hadden, Kim Yardley, Sue Amlin, Jeff McGinnis, Janice Jones, Bonnie Bey, Bob Weil, Jeff Lay, Jim Zahora, Carolyn Thuma, Diana Featherstone, Chris Bryrer, Dan Airing, Matt and Lori Wrhel, Brian and Carol Everson, Melissa Schmuelling, Tracy Gagnet Sosa, The Yardlay Group - RE/MAX Professionals, Amlin Advantage - RE/MAX Professionals, The Smith Family/Arcanum, OH, The Collins Family/Piqua, OH, Marcella Wigley & Kids, Zack & Melissa Francis, John & Sarah Walters, Rickey & Kelsey Godwin, Reed and Kim Grove, Farmland, IN, Alex & Mara Gillott.                 

Thank you again for all of your help.  We were able to make this Christmas Miracle happen because each and every one of you made a conscious decision to give...your time, your donations and your thoughtfulness.  May 2010 be a very blessed year for you and your families!


Carli Amlin Dean, Lori Spencer & Chabree Yardlay Grove