'All I can say is thank you'

Alisha Morrissey
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Family thrilled by readers' generosity

A family who'd lost hope in the idea of having a Christmas this year has had its faith restored after strangers gave a helping hand.
Charlie Wickham, who told The Telegram this week he didn't know if he could give his family a Christmas this year, said he's overwhelmed by the donations his family has received from total strangers.
A man dropped by the house with $1,000 in cash Tuesday morning, the day the story ran in The Telegram, Charlie said.
Another came by later that day with a gift card for Sobeys and promised the family's traditional Christ-mas Eve pizza will be delivered.
Others dropped off gifts or groceries and a church dropped off a Christmas hamper of vegetables.
"What can I say? All I can say is thank you," he said, admitting he cried every time someone knocked on the door and contributed something to the family's Christmas celebration.
"What I don't understand is how those people yesterday found out my address."
Charlie lives with his wife Marg and their two adult children, Natasha and Noel, and three grandchildren in a Buckmaster's Circle home.
He told The Telegram this week his family sometimes has to go without, but that he really loves giving them a wonderful Christmas. But this year it's been tough to scrape the money together to make ends meet, let alone have a Christmas.
After receiving the donations though, Charlie says he's paid off some bills, gotten some Christmas goodies and gifts and is ready for a real holiday.
"Everybody's in a better mood than we were," he says of his family, adding that he'd like to say thank you again to the people who helped out.
"The buddy who knocked on my door and said, 'I'm here to help you' … That's a lot of money for a stranger to give to another stranger."

amorrissey@thetelegram.com

Organizations: The Telegram, Sobeys

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Recent comments

  • Darrell
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    I think Charlie is the biggest bull******* on the planet. They are always looking for handouts. I'm sure the two adult children have some kind of money coming in along with what Marg and Charlie are getting. These kind of stunts are what give the Wickham name a bad name. My daughter is all upset because she has the same lat name and is worried what people are going to think about her where she has the same last name.

  • Chuck
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    To Joanne:

    Sure there are people out there who would trade the donations for liquor, drugs, etc., but why not just let this story be the feel good story that it is. I hope Charlie and his family have a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. As for the strangers who donated to the family, I hope the same kindness is returned to you in 2010. God bless you all. Merry Christmas

  • Joanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    What a blessing most people are,
    especially Newfoundlanders.
    However, there are hundreds of others in similar situations. If two adult children are living in the home, they must be receiving welfare cheques also.
    I know there are genuine cases, but a few years back a man was living in my apartment building, and he got three Christmas hampers from different places, and traded them to other tenants each for liquor. Not fair; just not fair;
    maddening.

  • Susan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    When i read the first aticle about this family and his family i was stomach sick. This man received $1700 a month plus his drugs were paid for and his rent. How can this be, so then he goes on Ei and he gets $2000( plus what ever the kids got coming in) and he cannot live.There smart enough to go to the paper to get what they want hey. boohoo.I For example was on maternity leave as a single mom getting $1000 a month ( which i worked for ) paying for a morgage all on my own and social assistance would not look at me, let alone help me with anything. I then had to sell my rrsp which would benefit my life and my childs so i could pay the blue cross bill off $1200. All i can say is the system sucks and there are people who jsut should learn to live. If they were not given handouts all the time. This is crazy they have kids living with them with there own kids how much child tax are they getting, and on top of the free drugs and social assistance. This blew me away and i cannot beleive they wanted it printed int eh paper. I guess how else will you get hand outs hey ..... sickning. So sad and sickning. The system sucks. I wish they would pay my bills and give me free prescritions. Blows my mind..

  • Santa
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Could you have people like this in need provide their names and addresses to the telegram. You gave only Charlie and Margs name..why ? Now they will receive enought for 30 familities. We should share the goodness around so you must print the name of all who are in need of help.

    Merry Christmas

  • Joanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Chuck, you are right; however, James,
    you got my point all wrong. No, I certainly do not feel anyone whatsoever is beneath me. I am just frustrated because of what I did witness in my building a few years ago, and I still do know of cases where the system is being
    abused. And, as Santa from NL states,
    as I did, there are a lot of other people in similar situations who also need help,
    but only this family got their names published, therefore, got the help.
    My heavens, James, I'd absolutely love for every genuine case to get all the help possible to have a wonderful Christmas season!

  • grace
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    why wait for Christmas to help out? this should happen every day.

  • James
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Well said Chuck. Joanne, there will be plenty of time after Christmas to poor-bash and pass judgement on those you deem to be beneath you.

  • Darrell
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    I think Charlie is the biggest bull******* on the planet. They are always looking for handouts. I'm sure the two adult children have some kind of money coming in along with what Marg and Charlie are getting. These kind of stunts are what give the Wickham name a bad name. My daughter is all upset because she has the same lat name and is worried what people are going to think about her where she has the same last name.

  • Chuck
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    To Joanne:

    Sure there are people out there who would trade the donations for liquor, drugs, etc., but why not just let this story be the feel good story that it is. I hope Charlie and his family have a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. As for the strangers who donated to the family, I hope the same kindness is returned to you in 2010. God bless you all. Merry Christmas

  • Joanne
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    What a blessing most people are,
    especially Newfoundlanders.
    However, there are hundreds of others in similar situations. If two adult children are living in the home, they must be receiving welfare cheques also.
    I know there are genuine cases, but a few years back a man was living in my apartment building, and he got three Christmas hampers from different places, and traded them to other tenants each for liquor. Not fair; just not fair;
    maddening.

  • Susan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    When i read the first aticle about this family and his family i was stomach sick. This man received $1700 a month plus his drugs were paid for and his rent. How can this be, so then he goes on Ei and he gets $2000( plus what ever the kids got coming in) and he cannot live.There smart enough to go to the paper to get what they want hey. boohoo.I For example was on maternity leave as a single mom getting $1000 a month ( which i worked for ) paying for a morgage all on my own and social assistance would not look at me, let alone help me with anything. I then had to sell my rrsp which would benefit my life and my childs so i could pay the blue cross bill off $1200. All i can say is the system sucks and there are people who jsut should learn to live. If they were not given handouts all the time. This is crazy they have kids living with them with there own kids how much child tax are they getting, and on top of the free drugs and social assistance. This blew me away and i cannot beleive they wanted it printed int eh paper. I guess how else will you get hand outs hey ..... sickning. So sad and sickning. The system sucks. I wish they would pay my bills and give me free prescritions. Blows my mind..

  • Santa
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Could you have people like this in need provide their names and addresses to the telegram. You gave only Charlie and Margs name..why ? Now they will receive enought for 30 familities. We should share the goodness around so you must print the name of all who are in need of help.

    Merry Christmas

  • Joanne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Chuck, you are right; however, James,
    you got my point all wrong. No, I certainly do not feel anyone whatsoever is beneath me. I am just frustrated because of what I did witness in my building a few years ago, and I still do know of cases where the system is being
    abused. And, as Santa from NL states,
    as I did, there are a lot of other people in similar situations who also need help,
    but only this family got their names published, therefore, got the help.
    My heavens, James, I'd absolutely love for every genuine case to get all the help possible to have a wonderful Christmas season!

  • grace
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    why wait for Christmas to help out? this should happen every day.

  • James
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Well said Chuck. Joanne, there will be plenty of time after Christmas to poor-bash and pass judgement on those you deem to be beneath you.