Monday, January 1, 2018

Yes, Betzabe, there is a Santa Claus

On December 14, eight-year-old Betzabe Gomez went to a neighbor's house to write a letter to Santa. Her neighbor, Araceli Ramos, read the letter and decided to take action. Betzabe's father is seriously ill after five strokes and dialysis. Her mother had to quit her job to care for him. They are raising five children and their home was damaged by hurricane Harvey. They have no money for roof repair, so they collect the rainwater in a bucket. Betzabe's note said,"Dear Santa, I need help in my house because when it is raining, the rain comes in. What if it floods in there?" But Betzabe didn't expect to get something for nothing. She promised to leave Santa "cookies and milk" plus water and carrots for his reindeer.

Betzabe had not mentioned her leaky roof to anyone, for fear of being bullied at school. So Ramos reached out to friends, non-profits and businesses. Everyone wanted to help. School administrators bought Christmas gifts for the Gomez children. Texas State Representative Armando Walle (D-Houston) brought a ladder and put a blue tarp over the roof, secured with cinder blocks. He also donated two space heaters since the house has no heat, and hopes to find the family a new home. Donations kept pouring in, and Betzabe was showered with gifts during a Christmas party put together by the community. All because she had the courage to ask Santa for help.

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