For many, the holidays are a time of good cheer and family togetherness. However, for kids who have lost a parent, the holidays can be a harsh reminder of the one special person who is missing.
Yatooma’s Foundation For The Kids, in partnership with Art Van Furniture, will made a very special holiday visit on Saturday to the West Bloomfield home of the Hannawa family, who are facing their first holiday season after the death of a parent.
Samir Hannawa, 49, was gunned down while working in Detroit Nov. 7. The case is yet unsolved, while Hannawa leaves behind a wife and seven children, ages 2-to-18 — five of whom are in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District.
Led by "Santa Claus" (also known around Metro Detroit as attorney and Foundation founder Norman Yatooma), followed by Art Van delivery trucks, surprised the West Bloomfield family with an “Extreme Christmas Makeover.”
The family received furniture donated by Art Van, as well as winter gear, clothing and toys, among other gifts based on need. In addition, the family will be provided with food and assistance on other basic needs, such as living expenses and utilities, to get them through the winter months.
"We will never be able to bring back Mom or Dad, but we can give these kids a memory of Santa and dozens of elves showing up on their front porch with truck loads of support and holiday cheer rather than one of the empty hole left by their late parent at Christmas time. We are especially thankful to Art Van Furniture for partnering again with us to help change the lives of these families this holiday season," Yatooma said.
Hannawa, a native of Telkaif, Iraq, came to the United States in 2000. He worked as a manager of a Detroit party store and had reportedly taken his car in for maintenance when at just after 12 noon, it was reported that two unknown suspects arrived, shooting and killing Hannawa outside the repair shop.
Information from a press release was used in this report.