Surprise Christmas gifts help Tri-State family weather tough times


CINCINNATI (WXIX) — An Arlington Heights woman and her three daughters got a Christmas surprise early Thursday when a local nonprofit delivered gifts to them.

Cierra Burgan has had a tough few years. She experienced homelessness and was a victim of domestic violence in January. Worse still, her three daughters were there to witness the incident, and it was traumatic for all of them.

Cierra now lives with her daughters, Mariah, Malerie and Mckenzie, in an apartment provided by Talbert House. And it is on the porch of this building that Neighborhoods United placed its gifts.

The Burgan family are now the grateful owners of things the rest of us might take for granted, including glassware, pots and pans.

“It completely changed my perspective,” Cierra said. “Now I can come in here and cook Christmas dinner.”

They also received a gift for the whole family, something significant in the context of what they experienced together less than a year ago.

The red sofa is “very comfortable,” Cierra said. It also represents a new beginning.

“It happened in front of my kids,” Cierra said of the domestic abuse she suffered. “We don’t really like to talk about that. But this [old] couch, it brings back triggers and stuff like that.

The new couch heals the family.

“This could be the last step moving forward,” Cierra said.

It had been years since the mother of three had been able to give her daughters Christmas gifts. With that worry behind her, Cierra says she can focus on bigger goals.

“We’re just in an apartment right now,” she said. “Maybe one day we will have a house.”

Neighborhoods United plans to deliver gifts to seven more families this holiday season.

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