JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Williams family is all smiles.
“I was smiling. I really was,” said Doneka Williams.
The family of seven received a new air conditioner several days after their home was riddled with bullets last month.
“I was grateful. It was like a blessing from God,” said Williams.
News4JAX spoke with Williams after the shooting happened. Several bullets struck her window, walls and air conditioning, breaking the unit. She said some of her five young children have health issues and management at the Arbor Oaks Apartments was not helping with repairs.
“I feel like if I didn’t say anything on the news, they weren’t going to do it,” she said.
Willaims’ story caught the eye Grant Khanbalinov, who recently medically retired from the Navy.
“I was scrolling randomly through Facebook and I saw the news story at first I thought nothing of it then something in the back of my mind was like you should reach out to the reporter,” Khanbalinov said.
Once News4JAX connected the families, the Khanbalinov’s brought the Williams family their new air conditioner, along with some toys for the kids.
“As a mom, I could see the thankfulness in her face and the kids came out and they were extremely happy and we were all teary-eyed,” said Bre Khanbalinov.
“We got the air conditioner that if they decide to move, they can take with them,” said Grant Khanbalinov.
According to JSO’s crime map, 16 crimes have been within a half-mile of the Arbor Oaks Apartments in the past month. Including, attempted murder, shootings, and assaults.
The Khanbalinov’s more than 3 million Tik Tok followers are now trying to help the Williams family move by donating to their Cash App.
“The little things really matter so much,” said Williams.
Williams is grateful the Khanbalinov’s helped her family smile in a time of need.
The Khanbalinov family said they hopes this will inspire others to do help people in their community. Williams said another woman has also reached out, helping her look for a new place to live. At this time, Williams says no arrests have been made in the shooting.