12 Days of Christmas Miracles

Air Force Veteran Family Given Christmas Miracle in Time of Need

Military veteran, Daniel and his wife, Shelby have always dreamt of owning their own home. After overcoming numerous obstacles and getting into their first home, tragedy swept the American Dream from this veteran family.

Daniel served in the United States Air Force for eight years.  When his daughters were born, he was forced to retire so he could be at home and focus his attention on his daughters health issues. Medical bills and trips to the hospital continue to increase as one of his daughters has undergone more than 20 surgeries and many more check ups.

With the help of the VA Loan program and Homes for Heroes Specialist, Donna Czerniak, the couple was finally able to get pre-approved for a home loan and start searching for their new home. The house search was a challenge.  The family needed to find a home that would be wheelchair accessible and accommodate the needs of their two little girls who have medical issues.  Doorways and hallways needed to be wide enough for the wheelchair and the house could not have stairs. Persistence paid off and the family found their dream home.

Within 4 months of closing on their new home, more hard times hit the household. Daniel’s company was bought out and he was subsequently laid off. Without Daniel’s income, the couple needed to put their new home up for sale. During the same time, their daughter once again was admitted into the hospital. And to make matters worse, they got word that Daniel’s father had a massive heart attack and passed away at the hospital.

When the family reached out to Donna to help them put their house up for sale, she was heartbroken. On top of the loss and stress the family was facing, she knew how much their new home meant to them. Donna wanted to bring some light to their dark time with a Christmas Miracle.

Donna presented Shelby and Daniel with a $500 gift on behalf of Homes for Heroes. $200 went towards gas cards to supplement their weekly trips to Children’s Mercy Hospital. The rest of the money was given to them in the form of a check so that Shelby and Daniel could go Christmas shopping for their daughters.  Donna recalled, “When I called Shelby to tell her that I had nominated their family for Homes for Heroes 12 Days of Christmas, I asked her what her little girls had on their Christmas List.  Shelby replied ‘she didn’t know.’

Shelby and Daniel had never asked the girls to make Santa a wish list before. They had never bought the girls Christmas Gifts because money was always tight due to the girls’ medical expenses. She figured the girls were so little they wouldn’t feel like they were missing out on anything.   

“That is when I decided I wanted the parents to have that feeling of Christmas Shopping.  The experience of buying a surprise for the girls and having the anticipation of their daughters eyes the morning of Christmas” said Donna.

Local businesses in the Kansas City community contributed to make the Christmas Miracle complete. Contributions from local businesses included,

Kansas City Power and Light employees – $100.00

Jason and Jen Taylor – $100.00

Exceptional Properties Realty Agents – $100.00

Quarry City Savings and Loan – $100.00

“Daniel and Shelby had such a tough year and faced so much…forced to sell their home they were so excited to have, hospital stays, loss of job and the loss of Daniel’s dad. 

I am very grateful and thankful that Homes For Heroes presented this family with a Christmas Miracle. Words cannot describe my emotions. It’s always hard to see someone in need and hurting, I know we can’t solve everyones problems or change their situations, but it’s nice to see gifts of joy, acts of kindness and generosity shared. Thanks for letting me be a part of the Homes for Heroes Christmas Miracle!!!

Daniel and Shelby were speechless, tears were shed and they couldn’t stop saying THANK YOU! The generosity by everyone was overwhelming to them.” ~ Homes for Heroes Specialist, Donna Czerniak

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