Stranger Steps Up to Help Anchorage Family
Craigslist ad leads to act of kindness
ANCHORAGE - Reaching out for help on Craigslist wasn't easy for Mandy Premo.
“This year is the worst year I've ever had,” said the mother of four in her East Anchorage home.
The 33-year-old is out of work, and can't afford basic living expenses, let alone a birthday present for her son Zamir, who turned 6 years old Tuesday.
"I did have a really good job, I made a bad decision, decided to drink and drive, got a felony DUI, and I lost my job, I was banned from the medical field,” said an emotional Premo.
Premo said she doesn't want her children to suffer for her bad choices.
After exhausting other charitable avenues, she posted a notice for help online, explaining that her children won’t be getting birthday and Christmas presents this year.
A complete stranger answered.
On Tuesday, donor Victoria Kondor met the family for the first time.
"I know what that's like; every Christmas my mother would say, there's not enough, you're not going to have Christmas presents,” said Kondor.
Kondor and Premo had only spoken over the phone a couple of times before meeting.
"She called me last week,” said Kondor.
“And her voice was, you know, she was down. I could tell, and she said she was rejected.”
Mandy Premo said she applied to the Salvation Army's "Adopt-a-Family" program, which matches impoverished families with individual or group sponsors, but her application was denied and she was told the Salvation Army doesn't have enough sponsors to help.
Victoria Kondor made sure 6-year-old Zamir had a birthday to remember. She bought him a cake and a box full of toys; the majority related to drawing.
"This kid could potentially have a career as a graphic artist,” said Kondor.
Premo was more than thankful
"She came… in a time of need, and she really came through and helped me and it's great,” she said.
Premo says she doesn't drink anymore, she's studying and looking for employment.
“I'll get there, I think positive and I believe in God and I believe in miracles.”
One of those miracles arrived Tuesday in the form of Victoria Kondor.
“It's simple, but it's enough," said Kondor.
This Christmas, thanks to Kondor, all of the Premo children have multiple presents waiting for them to open.