Hope restored by local generosity

HOUSE fire victims Christine Dallison and Michael Birnie have been overwhelmed by community generosity and once again, they have a place to call home.

A big-hearted response from the people of Coffs Harbour left the couple speechless yesterday as they moved into a new home at Boambee East, organised by the Department of Housing.

A short time later, the Salvation Army delivery trucks arrived with a full household worth of furniture and appliances.

“What can we say, it’s just amazing we have so many people to thank for all this, I don’t know where to start,” a beaming Christine said.

“Di Walters from the Salvos’ welfare office has just been incredible. She has organised everything from clothes, food, cooking utensils to all of the furniture for the house.

“We just never expected any of this and, of course, a very big thankyou to Chris Webber from the Department of Housing as well.

As we reported on Wednesday, the couple had been left homeless with only the clothes on their backs following a house fire in Oriana Street on October 2.

Making their situation all the more difficult, they were organising the funeral for Christine’s mother Michelle who died in the fire.

“We had nothing ... we had really hit rock bottom. So now we are just so grateful,” Michael said.

In a strong show of community support, The Advocate fielded countless calls following our story highlighting the couple’s desperate situation.

The Salvos’ phones also rang off the hook with local residents offering donations.

Their story was also the most read on our website.

“The community has just been so generous. When we get back on our feet, we hope to repay the many favours the Salvation Army has done for us,” she said.

The couple also wishes to thank Radio Rentals, Mr Rental, Victor Rullis Funeral Services, Reflexions Carpet Cleaning, the Coramba Hotel and the many local residents, who donated to their appeal.

Michelle Dallison’s funeral will be held at the Coffs Harbour Crematorium at Karangi on October 21 at 10.30am. A celebration of her life will follow the service.

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