Florida Keys

Deli staff makes a brighter Christmas for former Homestead family

KeysInfoNet

Jenifer Orozco, right back, and her children accept the donations from the staff at Laurie's Deli Tuesday. Deli owner Laurie Temcelski chose Orozco's family to 'adopt' for Christmas.
Jenifer Orozco, right back, and her children accept the donations from the staff at Laurie's Deli Tuesday. Deli owner Laurie Temcelski chose Orozco's family to 'adopt' for Christmas. KeysInfoNet

A Marathon business played Santa to a family in need this week, donating food and cash to make sure five children can experience a happy Christmas.

Workers at Laurie's Deli, near mile marker 53 bayside, sold 250 homemade sugar and chocolate chip cookies for a quarter each this month, donating the proceeds to Jenifer Orozco and Faber Guzman so they can buy gifts for their children, who range in age from seven months to 12 years.

Faber had to leave his job at Winn-Dixie a year ago due to health issues and worked at odd jobs such as landscaping and painting to keep the family afloat. Orozco works at the Community Co-op Preschool on 122nd Street and watches children on the side to help with the finances.

Faber and Orozco moved to Marathon from Homestead three years ago and, until last year, things were stable.

Laurie Temcelski, owner of Laurie's Deli, said she decided to "adopt" a family for Christmas last month and chose to help Orozco, a regular at her deli.

"It's great. I really appreciate it," Orozco said. "It helps out with Christmas."

"It's the season of giving and it seems like a lot of families this year are struggling," said Kimberly Dawkins, who works at Laurie's and knows Orozco well. "They're a nice family and they used to be regulars until the husband" had to leave his job.

In addition to the proceeds raised from the cookies, Temcelski gave Orozco a $25 gift card to her deli and forgave the family's running tab.

Faber has found work as a painter, though the job is not a full-time gig. But it does come just in time for Christmas and, with the donations from Laurie's, assures the kids will have presents under the tree this year.

"There are a lot of kids here in the community who are in need of help but we can't adopt them all," Dawkins said. "So we help out the ones we can."

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