A Johnston County family learned the true meaning of holiday spirit this season.
On Dec. 17 a fire ripped through the Dixon home on Buffalo Road waking the family of seven from a sound sleep. The blaze, caused by faulty electrical wiring, began in a bedroom and the Dixon’s escaped unharmed.
Since then, Harold Dixon says the family has been overwhelmed by the amount of support received not just from the local area but nationwide. Letters of encouragement, gift cards and prayers have poured in from surrounding counties and as far as Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
“The love that we have been shown has really touched me and my family,” said Dixon. “It’s really a blessing to me that there are so many good people. It’s been an overwhelming experience.”
The family spent several days living in a local motel but three days before Christmas they learned they would be spending the holiday in a new home. The rental property, donated by The Fred Smith Company, allowed Dixon to give his five children a traditional Christmas.
“They rated this holiday as one of the best they’ve ever had,” Dixon said. “We got so many wrapped gifts given to us and we also shared many of them with others in need.”
The Dixon family includes wife Sharon, one daughter and four sons ranging in age from 9 to 26 years. Last week, several of the children returned to school and some sense of normalcy. Their temporary home, located in the Riverwood subdivision, allowed them to stay with their peers.
“We’re managing things as best we can and trying to get back to normal,” said Sharon Dixon.
“We’re taking it one day at a time,” added Harold Dixon. “So far it’s been a speedy recovery.”
Harold Dixon, who works as a custodian at Riverwood Middle School, said co-workers and staff have been a great source of comfort.
“I’ve been really surprised by their support,” he said. “I’ve only been working with Johnston County Schools for three years and everyone has treated me great. Everyone has really poured their hearts out to help my family.”
From this tragedy the Dixons have learned many lessons. Harold Dixon said the family has never been motivated by material possessions. His children have appreciated the outpouring of love and generosity from the community and will use it as an example of giving back.
“I can’t say enough thanks to those who have helped us, especially as it happened during the holiday season,” Dixon said. “We’re good to go now. I can never repay these people for what they’ve done but God will repay them.”