Sometimes kindness and generosity come at the least expected time – and in the least of expected places.
That’s what happened Sunday, November 13, 2016 in Snoqualmie when a family from the small north African country of Tunisia arrived at Meg Barlament’s home to purchase the SUV she had listed on Craigslist. A family friend, who drove the family to Snoqualmie, shared their story with Meg.
The previous week, they’d arrived in the United State with [pretty much] just their suitcases. Chahir and Naima Turki used to reside in the U.S., but had to return to Tunisia about 11 years ago. Before returning, they made the difficult decision to leave their [then] 6-year old daughter, who is blind and deaf, in the United States because healthcare facilities equipped to help her are superior here.
That was eleven years ago. After returning to Tunisia, they put their name into an Immigrant Visa lottery to come back to the U.S. Last week, their number came up. According to Meg, “They grabbed their suitcases, left everything behind, jumped on the airplane and came here.”
This was the first time they’d seen their daughter in 11 years. She is now 17-years old.
Two days after arriving they were in Snoqualmie, along with their friend Laurie, buying Meg’s car. After Meg heard the story – that they had nothing for their newly found apartment in Federal Way – she asked for a list of items the family needed, and then asked for community’s help.
She shared the family’s story on the Snoqualmie Ridge Facebook group and Meg said within an hour (literally she said), all items from the list were donated and apartment was furnished – including bedding, pots and pans, pillows, wall art, books, plates, silverware (courtesy of Infusion restaurant)… even a bike for the family’s 11-year old son.
Meg said due to the daughter’s disabilities, she likes to rock – so a Lazy-boy recliner was also donated for her. And let’s not forget the upcoming holidays. A Christmas tree and decorations were donated and some community members are now trying to put together a Thanksgiving Day dinner for the family.
On Monday, November 14th, Chahir brought a truck to Snoqualmie and with Meg’s help, made stops at numerous homes where donations were waiting… and all because a family came to the Snoqualmie Valley to buy a SUV from a Craiglist ad.
Meg added, “And guess what? Some of these people voted for Clinton and some for Trump – and were still able to come together for the greater good.”
You just never know when kindness, generosity, and community spirit will find you.