Thanks to the generous donations from NBC 5 viewers, one deserving North Texas family has a new home and help getting back on their feet.
NBC 5, the SoupMobile, the Dallas Omni Hotel and Kroger teamed up to get the family back on their feet.
The Tan family was receiving help through the Shared Housing Center Shelter after escaping domestic violence. On Christmas Day, mother Teresita Tan, along with daughters Elizabeth and Gina, moved into the family's new apartment, where they will live for a year rent-free.
The apartment has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a fully stocked kitchen. As they walked into their apartment, three were speechless.
Elizabeth, 14, has never had her own room before.
"It is like, 'Wow!'" she said.
Several times Teresita said this was much more than she expected. She has been working this year, as has Gina, and they never wanted to ask for help. The mother was overwhelmed with emotion.
"It is so beautiful – so much more than we expected," Teresita said.
There was a surprise for Gina in her new bedroom: a violin. She left hers at her house before they left and had not played again until Friday. Beautiful music soon filled the new home. But on this day, her thoughts were with her mother.
"She often thinks that she has the responsibility to provide everything, and so she often takes on the harder role, thinking maybe she has to carry the burden. I always have to be there to tell her, 'No, mom. I am right here. I am here to help you,'" said Gina.
But to Teresita, her girls are everything.
"They are the most important thing in my life. I made so much sacrifice in my past. I forget about myself for 30 years," she said.
Now, they are all together, with a new home.
"We are excited, and the two girls are ready to move on – not going back," Teresita said.