Big-hearted Richmond News readers have stepped up to the plate after reading about the plight of Australian single mom Sarah.
Offers of food, clothing and household items have been coming into the News since we published the heartfelt story of Sarah and her two-year-old son Simon.
Sarah (name changed for security reasons) isn't allowed to leave B.C. with her toddler due to a custody battle with the boy's father, who forced the mom to flee the family home after years of physical abuse.
Trapped in a country that won't let her leave, but can barely support her, Sarah has no family or friends and has just $125 a month left of her income assistance to feed and cloth herself and the little boy.
However, several readers, including families and a circle of moms, were so moved by last Friday's story they offered food, clothes for mom and son and even new or gently used furniture.
Some have even offered their friendship as a way of supporting Sarah and making her feel like she matters.
"I had no idea these people were out there; I'm so overwhelmed I could cry," Sarah told the News after hearing about the support.
"Thank God for all these great people out there. I really didn't think anyone cared. I'm so grateful."
Although reluctant to rely on charity, Sarah agreed, for the sake of her son, to accept some of the generous donations.
"Unfortunately, most of the furniture would be too big for this little basement suite and I won't take anything I won't use," she added.
"But just to know that people out there do care has given me a great lift."
The News told last week how Sarah, 39, fled to the safety of Sydney from Richmond Hospital, where she'd been admitted after another beating at the hands of her now estranged husband.
After giving birth to Simon in Australia and hearing promises from her husband that he'd turned over a new leaf, Sarah was later wooed back to Canada.
But a little more than a year after gambling with a return to Richmond, she suffered more abuse, moved in and out of a women's transition home and now finds herself carving out a meagre existence in a basement suite in Richmond.
While waiting from the court to hear if she can return to Australia with her son and whether or not the father will pay child maintenance, she shells out $800 a month on rent, hydro and laundry, leaving just $125 of her income assistance to live on.
More on this story in Friday's newspaper.
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