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Children from St. Thomas receive Christmas surprise

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. – Zianna and Zian Moolenaar are a long ways from home, about 2,104 miles to be exact. The 6 and 7-year-old siblings are from St. Thomas, one of the islands most affected by Hurricane Maria.

In search of refuge, they were sent to live with their aunt Juanita Moolenaar in Michigan City. Their father still lives on the island as he is mandated to do so.

The two came to the mainland on September 27th and didn’t come with much. No coats, minimal basic necessities, and nothing to go back to.

Fast forward to the end of November.

Brittany Lisoski, a bookkeeper for D&M Excavating, said she and her mother-in-law took children in need gift shopping. They were paired with Zianna and Zian.

“It wasn’t until the car they shared with us that they were from St. Thomas and they had nothing. They had lost the roof on their house and they were sent to live here with their aunt,” said Lisoski. “They shared with me just little things like that she had a ‘Dora’ blanket that didn’t cover her toes and her favorite color was purple because it meant prosperity.”

Lisoski knew she had to do something.

D&M Excavating sponsors children every year. This year the siblings are only two of the 120 children being looked after for the holiday season. The allotment is normally $125 for each family, but something was different for these two.

Wednesday, a surprise truck full of gifts arrived thanks to D&M.

The kids were in shock and couldn’t believe it, but the family was thankful.

“They were surprised because you want to believe there are still people that have a big, great heart so it’s nice to know you still have people who care, it makes you feel good. I was wondering what am I gonna do help them out and give them Christmas. I’m just thankful,” said Juanita.

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