Boy Gives His $50 Christmas Money To Family Who Lost Everything In Bushfires
A NSW mother who has lost her home, business and job to bushfires said she was left in tears when her son offered her the $50 he was given for Christmas, to help their family start over.
As his heartbroken parents loaded their few remaining possessions into a car, 12-year-old Dante Roman quietly helped by patting the family dog and occasionally giving his mum and dad a reassuring hug.
“We stick together,” he told 10 News First ... “we’re a family.”
His dad Gaspar Roman and mum Lorena Granados owned the leather goods shop on Mogo’s main street for 17 years.
But on New Year's Eve, a fire tore through the two-storey wooden building, destroying $1.5 million in handcrafted leather products stored inside.
The Roman family home, located 4km away, was also destroyed.
In one blazing moment, the couple lost their house, their shop and their jobs.
Softly spoken Dante offered to help his parents.
“He wanted to donate the $50 dollars that he got from Christmas to begin our new life,” Lorena said.
“He said ‘Mum, I’ve got 50 dollars that I’ve got and we can start off with this’.”
It reduced Lorena to proud tears, but to Dante, the gesture was automatic.
“They’re my parents and it’s my job to protect them ... they protect me, I protect them," he said.
As the fire approached Mogo, the couple sent their son off to a safe place and prepared to fight, to protect their business and their livelihood.
Lorena said she now knows they were no match for the fire.
“We stayed to the last minute until the fire was in front of us and just showering fire all over us," she said.
“It was a ferocious monster that was three stories high against us. We had no chance."
She claimed her husband was willing to die to protect their business but was hauled away from the burning building by police when the blaze became too intense.
“It’s like our soul has been ripped out ... Gasper feels like he’s lost his heart. He’s been doing this for 45 years," she said.
“We are definitely underinsured. I’ve got to go to the bank. Obviously the mortgage still needs to be paid, even though we’ve got nowhere to live.
“This is our income our life everything. We don’t have a job to go back to.”
When there was no longer any use staying to battle the flames, Lorena said she drove along closed roads and past burning buildings to make sure Dante was safe.
He’d been out of contact with his parents for nearly the entire day and was worried.
He said it was an emotional moment when they were reunited.
“It was so overwhelming. I was just so happy that they were safe.”
The family are unsure about the future. But, an emotional Gaspar is resolute.
“I’m strong ... we will start again. For my family.”
An online fundraiser has been started to help the Roman family recover from the bushfires, so far it has raised more than $16,000.
If you would like to help, click here.