Opinion

Thankful for a caring community

To the editor:

As you may know, we lost our home and belongings in a fire on Dec 29, 2016. We would like to begin with a special thanks to the first-responders who came to our home. Brandon O’Leary thanks so much for your efforts prior to the firefighters’ arrival. To the firefighters from St. Francis and Fort Kent, thank you for your efforts and for trying to limit the level of damage to our home. Also, thank you for rescuing one of our cats. You all went above and beyond, we are touched and grateful.

Thanks also to our community, you have no idea how much your help has meant. This community is truly blessed to have such selfless and dedicated volunteers and individuals. We are truly blessed to be a part of this caring community. I am still amazed by how many people dropped off essentials, and collected items. The benefit supper held for us was amazing with wonderful volunteers and great community support.

We have truly been blessed with an outpouring of help and support from friends, family and people we don’t even know. People have rushed to our aid with love, prayers, caring, supportive words and financial assistance.

This has been a challenging time, we appreciate you all so much. Our hearts are full of love, respect and thankfulness to all. Never in a million years did we think we would be on the receiving end of compassion and generosity that has been shown to us. It started while the fire was still burning and continues each day. We are eternally grateful for everything the community and surrounding communities have done for us. We are truly humbled by it all. For all the ways you’ve pitched in … Thank you for all you have done.

We can never thank you all enough. Thanks to everyone. There are too many to name, some anonymous, some strangers. You know who you are and we are truly blessed and forever grateful.

We also want to let everyone know that we are doing fine. We moved into a temporary home, are safe and starting to mentally recoup. Our children are fine and don’t really remember that night, other than the excitement over a fire truck. It has been so important for them to see all the goodness in the world in the middle of uncertainty. We will come back to our home with not only our family, but also the spirit of all of you that have helped us through this challenging time. We will never forget the incredible support you have all given us. Words cannot express our gratitude for the prayers, thoughts, help and encouragement offered to our family. Please know that each of you made a big difference, we really don’t know where we would be without you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

We had so many letters, notes, and words of encouragement from so many people but one special person touched our hearts. It was a little girl, Payton Devoe, a 7-year-old girl from Eagle Lake, that took money from her piggy bank and sent it to us with a note. (see photo).

We want to thank her for her kindness, generosity and support! You are a very special sweet little girl that truly represents the St. John Valley and its residents.

It was a blessing in more ways than one to receive her note/donation. It made us smile to see the caring, kindness selflessness and consideration in one so young. Payton’s note is on a shelf in our temporary home. When one of us is having a bad day or just feeling overwhelmed, we can look at her note and we have to smile. It serves as a reminder to us all that we have and have received from so many during this time. That things are “not so bad” and could be much worse. That we live in a great place with kind wonderful people.

You Peyton have given us this reminder. You are a very special girl and thank you so very much.

Braigan, Patrick, Calvin and Colt O’Leary
St. Francis

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