I haven't heard a story this heartbreaking in quite a while. Please read over the two links above, which explain the story better than I can. A family has lost its father and has no choice but to continue to operate the store in which he was murdered, to return to that exact location every day, swallow hard, and go about their business. Then, they were shown just how much they are loved and cared for by their community: Thieves broke in and stole everything last Friday!
I cannot imagine that this is the America that an immigrant family sees. I can't imagine that people can sit idly by and fail to help because he doesn't have their name or skin color. I can't imagine that people can unwrap thousands of dollars worth of gifts they don't need in a few days, that they'll return unwanted gifts in droves in the coming weeks, that people will flock to discount stores and by huge piles of discounted Christmas items to put away for next year, and then will sit idly by and watch devastation happen right in front of their computer screens.
Help must come. Help has to come. We have to show love. We have to let Shqair's children know that the world is a better place than this! There is good in this world and we are it! This, these next couple of weeks, is the best I can do for them. I'd love to give all those kids a hug and tell them life's going to be okay, that no matter what happens, if you're still breathing, you have a chance in this life!
If anything I've said inspires you, please send along some money to give to Julia Shqair, to help her pay her bills for the next few months. If you think of other ways to help them out, to show them the love of God in this terrible time for them, send me an email and I'll help you make it happen.
For me, the highest words that invigorate the Christmas season are, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men." Please make that peace and good will real for this family.