Donna Withworth was so happy for her new home, she cried. Last week Friday when she saw the Food For The Poor truck drive up to her location in the seaside community of Sandshore in Manchioneal, Portland, she saw what she had expected to be a bleak Christmas turn joyous.
By this weekend, she intends to be reunited with her five children and common-law-husband Devon Richards.
"I'm so happy. All the stress gone now. I was so stressed out and worried that we would have nowhere to live for Christmas," she shared with The Gleaner.
"I was so surprised when I see them come. I was so excited, my heart feel so light, I started to cry."
Hurricane Sandy had flattened Donna's three-bedroom house four weeks ago, destroying all her family's belongings. When they came out to examine their home after the hurricane, almost everything was blown away, leaving the foundation and whatever the winds could not manage.
Her children had been staying with relatives since the disaster.
"This is a lovely house. Much better than the one we had before," Donna noted.
Thirty-seven-year-old Caletus Peterkin and his common-law wife Novelette Newton were among those who got a $30,000 voucher last Thursday, and they were quite happy for it. The home that they shared with their five children had lost its roof.
Yesterday, they were both hard at work completing construction on a 16ft-by-12ft structure to move their family out of the Manchioneal community centre shelter by the end of the day.
"Right now me just want to make me family happy for Christmas," said Peterkin.