VANCOUVER, Canada – The community and a big real estate development group in Canada helped a Filipino family heal after a hit-and-run accident claimed the life of one of their loved ones.
Intergulf Development provided a new home to the Tumandas family, rent free, for a period of six to eight months.
"I saw their story on TV and it really touched my heart,” said Ron Sydor, Vice President Acquisitions, Intergulf Development Group.
Nilo Tumanda was overwhelmed with the love and support that the community and the company showed to his family.
“Sobra talaga parang di ka makapagsalita. Hindi ko akalaing ganito pala,” he said.
Tumanda’s wife, Leonida, was killed when she was hit by a speeding car on December 2, 2012.
The mother of two children was walking home when the accident happened. The family continues to appeal to the driver to surface and take responsibility for the crime.
Sydor rallied the troops and did something reminiscent of the TV show Extreme Home Makeover. His team got in touch with Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Vancouver and Kensington, Mable Elmore, to inform Tumanda about the offer.
The house, which was scheduled for demolition this year to give way to new townhouses, has been renovated. Various companies also donated items and their time to make their home complete for the Tumandas.
“In one week, they've done an incredible job. They've painted the house, they've put carpet, they furnished it,” said Elmore.
Another good Samaritan, Kelly Newstead, started a trust fund for the family.
“I’d like to see them heal and move forward from this and I think they deserve a really good start,” Newstead said.
Counting his blessings, Tumanda offered forgiveness as he renewed his appeal for the driver to come forward.
“Sa driver, kung lalabas siya at aaminin niya na siya yun, I'm willing to forgive him. Tutal di natin alam kung anong nangyari kung kasalanan ba niya or sino. Handa akong patawarin siya,” said Tumanda. - Balitang Canada