Subrena Pritchard will tell you she already got her Christmas present last week.
That's because when she wakes up this morning, she'll still be able to turn on her lights.
That's right, this mother of three, grandmother of one, is grateful this morning that her electricity is still on.
“It was one of the best Christmas presents I could have had,” she said.
And that's pretty remarkable considering what's happened to her the past couple months.
Three armed men broke into Pritchard's Johns Island home early on the morning of Oct. 19, pointed their guns at her and her 6-year-old grandson, and demanded money, debit cards, anything they could get.
Unfortunately, that wasn't much; Pritchard ruefully laughs as she recounts the story, saying that they should have picked anybody else to rob.
“I didn't have no money for them to steal anyway,” she said. “They did get my great-granddaddy's ring that my mother had given my son. I would have rather they took anything else in the house.”
Two men were arrested a few days later, but that doesn't bring back her great-granddaddy's ring, or the sanctity of her home.
Pritchard shares her double-wide mobile home with her 29-year-old daughter, 6-year-old grandson, 19-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.
“Even the 12-year-old believes in Santa Claus,” Pritchard said, adding, “I don't know about Santa Claus this year.”
Pritchard said she is not currently receiving child support; she recently sold her car to pay her bills. The 19-year-old had been doing odd jobs here and there to help out, but that only goes so far.
So when she got the notice that her electricity was going to be cut off, she wasn't sure where to turn.
That's when the Rev. William Christian at Star Gospel Ministries stepped in.
She was uncomfortable asking for help. When the Rev. Christian asked her how much Star Gospel should pay on the bill, she had to say “All of it.”
And she said the Rev. Christian said, “Ask and you shall receive,” and her bill was paid in full.
“I tell you, it was a blessing,” she said.
You've been reading about the good work that the Good Cheer Fund does for about a month now.
You have seen how urgent the need is right here in our backyard.
The Good Cheer Fund will take donations through 11 a.m. Friday.
So, if Santa brought you a little extra cash, or if you find you have a little holiday joy to pass around, please consider giving to the Good Cheer Fund. You can donate at goodcheerfund.com.
The six charities that distribute money from the fund help people who need it the most, like Subrena Pritchard.
“We got our lives, we got our health, we got our lights on,” she said. “That's all that matters.”
Reach Melanie Balog at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-5565.