Family receives new home, furnishings (video)
Dec. 24, 2012 at 6:24 a.m.
Updated Dec. 26, 2012 at 6:26 a.m.
Yes, Pamela. There is a Santa Claus.
And he's your fellow Victorians.
Pamela Steward lost everything in an accidental house fire in September. She, along with the five grandchildren she's raising, faced an uncertain future.
Then a miracle took place on Pecan Street.
Donors came forward - some individuals, some businesses - and Christmas Eve, Steward was presented with the keys to a new house.
Mark Longoria, outreach pastor at Faith Family Church, did the honors.
"I told you that this would be in your price range. I just want to let you know it's completely paid for. You don't have any mortgage. It's paid for. God did it," he said, handing Steward the keys.
"I am so happy. I am really happy. I thank God for Jesus. I thank the whole community and everyone that helped me and these children," Steward said between happy sobs after taking the keys.
Those children - Quentin Jordan, 15, Sylias Montgomery, 12, Kelvin Montgomery, 11, Kamauri Montgomery, 6, and Kolson Montgomery, 3 - were beaming as they walked through their new home, complete with a backyard basketball court.
"I love it. It's a blessing. I can't believe it. I appreciate everything everyone has done for us," said Quentin.
Also in the family's "stocking" was the deed to the land at 1001 Pecan St., courtesy of family friend Teryl Taylor.
The miracle on Pecan Street sprang from the hearts of Taylor and others like him.
"With the Lord's help, miracles have been happening," said Taylor, who coached Steward's oldest grandson in the Crossroads Youth Football League.
"We got close to Quentin. Got close to the family. They are all like our sons now," said Taylor, who owned the house that burned Sept. 22 that Steward was making rent-to-own payments on. Taylor bought the house last year when Steward was faced with eviction from the previous landlord.
There was more - the "angel" on the top of the tree if you will. The house was furnished by Kamin Furniture in its annual Christmas giveaway. And toys for the kids came thanks to a drive conducted by Victoria Iron Works Motorcycle Shop.
"We do a fundraiser every Christmas for local people. This is just a block and half from our shop," said shop owner Robert Zissa. "It's tragic losing everything you have. We are just trying to make a difference."
Santa Claus, aka Buddy Kamin owner of Kamin Furniture, arrived via a county fire truck.
"I heard the siren and I thought, 'not again.' That was the last thing I wanted to hear," Steward said.
But her frown soon turned upside down when she saw the bearded passenger riding shotgun in the truck as Santa and his elves made the furniture delivery.
"I thought, as I have for 26 years, this is a perfect, most deserving family," Kamin said. "They were going to figure out how they could stay together and where they could live. I knew that this was more than perfect."
After thanking donors, Santa turned to Steward.
"These children are fortunate to have a grandmother like you," he said.
"If you've never had a Santa Claus, here he is," said Steward. "It's a real Christmas miracle."