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Community rallies around Olive after theft

KIND-HEARTED: Conor McParland from the North Belfast News hands over a Christmas hamper to Olive McAlea that was donated by a local businessman



KIND-HEARTED: Conor McParland from the North Belfast News hands over a Christmas hamper to Olive McAlea that was donated by a local businessman
By Conor McParland

THE North Belfast community has rallied around an 81-year-old pensioner after Christmas presents for her family and friends were stolen from her home.
In last week’s North Belfast News, we reported on the story of Olive McAlea, who was left devastated after burglars entered her Cedar Avenue home in broad daylight before stealing the gifts, which were stored in the bedroom of her late son. Ever since news of the burglary spread, the North Belfast News Facebook page has been inundated with messages of best wishes and support for Olive after her ordeal.
A local businessman also donated a large Christmas hamper to Olive after reading about her story. We presented the hamper to Olive in her home, much to her delight.
In another kind-hearted gesture, another local businessman is to install a security alarm system free of charge today (Friday) for Olive.
“I’m not a big company, just a local man trying to help anyway I can to give Olive some peace of mind in her home again over Christmas.”
A grateful Olive told the North Belfast News she wanted to thank everyone for their support.
“It’s unbelievable how kind people are. I really appreciate the kindness shown to me. I’ve received so many messages of support and goodwill and a number of cards.
“I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. I will say a prayer for them all.
“I would urge people to make sure their homes are secured over the Christmas period and you should only open your front door if you know the person.”
Olive’s daughter Bridie also thanked the local community for their support and kindness towards her mother.
“I want to thank everyone so much for all their kindness. Mum is a bit more like herself now thanks to all the love and prayers she has received from so many people.
“Mum is a very kind, faithful and Christian lady who herself donates to many charities. She is more comfortable giving than receiving so you can imagine how overwhelmed she has felt at the care and generosity of neighbours.
“I want to thank the North Belfast News also for highlighting her story.”

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