A Flood Of New Memories

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

Holiday ornaments, pictures, even the family tree were all washed away in the Labor Day flood. But Santa’s Helpers are making spirits bright. In his one of many titles he’s known as, “The man with all the toys.” For 31 years the man in black has been dropping off bags full of cheer year round. But this is a first for Mr. and Mrs. Undertaker. Mrs. Undertaker tells 23 News, "I don't think we've ever done one on Christmas Day before. So for this to happen it really means something to me."

The gestures mean even more to this family who weren't going to be able to unwrap one single gift. Flood victim Tim Fleming states, “We're borrowing from one loan company to pay off another. We lost the van and pretty much everything in the home."

For security reasons 23 News is not going to provide the names of the children or show any faces. But you can only imagine what it's like to sit in a pile of toys. It's part of the magic of the season when complete strangers provide the gift of giving. Fleming goes on to say, "I've always been taught that it's better to give then receive but we could have used some help from FEMA and other organizations. We just were not there for people who went through this flood."

And though a water mark in the home has left a lasting impression, so have two strangers. Fleming says, “They brought some real Christmas spirit into this house. God bless them both." The Undertaker tells 23 News, “That’s what this is all about. We bring smiles to them and their children and they make it through a hard time. And that's what I'm about, smiles."

Now Mr. and Mrs. Undertaker are both out doing good deeds year round. If you would like to donate money or toys contact the Rockford Park District Foundation. This holiday season about $7,000 and numerous sponsors helped make the season bright.


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