Dozens Gather To Provide Holiday ‘Miracle’ To Family Of Deceased Army Vet
HERRIMAN, Utah — Dozens gathered in Herriman Thursday to spread some much-needed holiday cheer to a family dealing with the loss of a loved one, after a stranger learned of the death and got the community involved in an attempt to help.
Sarah Timmins and her six children were devastated on Oct. 20 when husband and father Nik Timmins passed away suddenly at the age of 39.
“It was a drug overdose. It was really scary and devastating and the hardest day of my life, and I’ve got six kids to raise now by myself,” Timmins said. “My husband struggled with PTSD and anxiety, depression. He was in the military and he really struggled, and it was hard on us.”
Jill Jones said she learned of the death of the Army veteran and the plight of his family from a conversation her daughter, Tiffany, had with one of the Timmins’ children at school.
“He was just telling her certain things that concerned me as a mother — not so much about him, but just things like the family’s conditions and stuff like that,” Jones said.
She reached out to the school’s principal for permission to contact Timmins.
“(I) just sent her a Facebook message and just said, ‘Hey, my daughter goes to school with your son. He’s a great kid and he was just saying some things and we’re sorry for your loss, and we just want to make sure you’re OK,” Jones said.
Jones said a friendship quickly developed, and she found herself looking for a meaningful way to help the family. Her networking eventually connected her with Tiani Shoemaker Clyde and the Little Miracles Utah organization.
“We do just amazing things for these families that have found themselves in situations, you know, outside of their control,” said Little Miracles Utah board member Jil Ingram. “The family was nominated and we chose them. We loved the story.”
Soon, a plan was in motion that involved cleaning, redecorating and completely furnishing the family’s townhome and welcoming them back to it with a large party of friends, neighbors and others.
Thursday afternoon, the crowd cheered as the Timmins family arrived. Jones gave Sarah Timmins a long hug.
“You’re to be celebrated — you’re a hero, your husband’s a hero,” Jones said to Timmins as the crowd watched. “I’m glad we could be, like, this bit of your Christmas, and thank you so much!”
Timmins said she was grateful for what the community did for her family.
“(It’s) just beautiful!” Timmins said. “It was just awesome, overwhelming and felt great!”