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A difficult year for Paul Balog and his two children left him feeling isolated from friends and family. But a household of kind strangers might be able to help, he thought, so he took to social media with some questions.

“Will you miss some of your beloved family members around your Christmas table this year? Or have you always wished [for] a larger family or grandchildren? Would you like more giggles and chatters in your house at Christmas?” he wrote in his post on Reddit and VarageSale, a community buy-and-sell website.

Mr. Balog said that in return, he hoped his family could offer some warmth to someone else who might need it.

Within hours, the ad was reposted to a Facebook group in Oak Bay, a seaside community near Victoria.

Then the responses began to pour in, with 20 invitations in the first 12 hours and even more comments, shares and messages of support.

“My kids were worried about our Christmas, and I felt I had to do something for them,” said Mr. Balog, who works as an engineer and moved with his family to the area four years ago.

Mr. Balog said he separated from his partner earlier this year.

“I thought Christmas Day would be suitable for us to visit another family since I personally don’t have any family or friends we can ask to visit.”

Esquimalt resident Lynn Millar saw something familiar in Mr. Balog’s post.

“I was that person five years ago when I moved to Victoria,” Ms. Millar said. “I’m a single mom with two girls pretty close to his kids’ age. And it’s just us three on Christmas, and I always feel like maybe my kids are missing out on that big family dinner.”

Ms. Millar reached out and is now planning for the two families to get together on Christmas Day.

“It sounds like we’re going to have a nice Christmas dinner together. And he wants to help cook, and he wants to help do the dishes. Which is amazing because, as a single mom, that’s all I do. I think it will be really fun,” Ms. Millar said.

She said that, like Mr. Balog, she was warmed to find the support for a stranger coming from members of her community.

“People are really wanting to help. If you can make someone’s day a bit easier, why not?” Ms. Millar said. “That’s what Christmas should be about. That’s what I want my daughters to learn.”

Mr. Balog said his request for Christmas dinner has turned into several days of activities, invitations to hang out, to decorate or to cook together and his family is now hoping to connect with many others.

“My daughter is excited to visit another family. She thinks this could be something new and fun,” he said. “I think this will be a memorable Christmas, marvellous and fulfilling for them.”

Mr. Balog said his family has felt welcomed by the community since it moved to the area. As a result, he said he didn’t feel nervous reaching out to spend Christmas with an unfamiliar family. At some point, he said he hopes to pay the kindness forward by helping another family which might find itself in the same situation.

“We experienced only an outpouring of goodwill and support by local communities and individuals,” he said. “Now we received the same kindness again through amazing comments, private messages, and other encouraging reactions.”

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