'The Lord really looked out for me because I kept praying and saying, 'Could I be at home before Christmas?'' the grateful mom-of-three shared.
An Ohio Dunkin' employee and her family witnessed the ultimate Christmas miracle this year, weeks after being evicted from their Mount Healthy home. Ebony Johnson, a mother of three, was left speechless when Suzanne Burke, a woman she befriended in the drive-thru line over the years, surprised her with a new, fully furnished home just in time for the holidays. Speaking to ABC affiliate WCPO, Burke shared that she knew she had to take action when she learned Johnson had fallen on hard times. "When she experienced this hardship, I just wanted to see if I could help her just improve her life and the life for her kids," Burke explained.
"I wanted to make sure that they had stable housing so that she could continue to provide the excellent service she does at Dunkin'," she added. The pair of friends first met three years ago in a Dunkin' drive-thru and became close over the years as they shared a conversation every time Burke got her morning coffee. "I go every morning," Burke said. "Ebony has worked the drive-thru for three years and really has provided amazing customer service." However, recently she noticed that her friend had missed her usual shift a few weeks.
Upon reaching out to Johnson, Burke learned that the Dunkin' employee and her family had been evicted from their home and were in need of a stable roof over their heads. Wanting to help them in any way she could, Burke reached out to local organizations and designers and was able to find Johnson's family a furnished home with their assistance. Johnson saw her new home for the first time last Friday and the emotional moment was caught on camera by WCPO. "I'm just so thankful we're back in our home," she said. "The Lord really looked out for me because I kept praying and saying, 'Could I be at home before Christmas?'"
"Oh my god, I'm so happy," Johnson added. Her children were just as excited as their mother upon seeing their new home. "So nice, so nice," Johnson's youngest son said while looking at his new room. Burke partnered with staging designer Jo Potvin of Design to Market and New Life Furniture Bank, a gently-used furnishing bank for those in need, to ensure the house was perfect for Johnson's family. "[It's the] perfect time of the year to feel like you're spreading joy," said Potvin. Dana Saxton, the executive director of New Life Furniture Bank, echoed her sentiments. "It's as much a gift for us as it is for them, to be able to provide this for them," she said.
The furniture bank, which accepts household items and makes them available at no charge to those in need, also marked the incredible moment on Facebook, writing: "We're so pleased to partner with Jo Potvin and her talented design team at Design to Market Home Staging to make Ebony's family feel LOVED during the holiday season. WCPO 9 covered this beautiful story about Ebony, a hardworking mom and beloved Dunkin' employee, who found herself homeless and how a group of caring people in our community worked together to make sure Ebony and her kids are living in a warm and comfortable home - just in time for Christmas."