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Illinois couple's rainbow flag stolen, neighbors unite to do something special

Photo credit:
WGN - Screenshot

An Illinois couple thought when the rainbow flag disappeared from their backyard that would be the end of it, but actually, it was the beginning of a block-wide blessing in disguise. 

Casey Handel and Zadette Rosado and their two daughters have only lived in the suburb of Barrington for seven months. 

They proudly flew a rainbow flag in their backyard until one day it was stolen and replaced with an American one. 

“We were pretty devastated as far as, who would do this? Why would they do it?” Handel said to WGN

The couple was understandably unnerved, but then something unexpected happened. 

Their neighbors heard about the theft and one, Kim Filian, decided to send a message both to the couple and the thieves; she bought a Pride lawn flag of her own and put it in her front yard.

She ordered more and soon other neighbors came knocking at her door to ask for some to put in their yards. 

“Frankly, I’ve grown weary of this, of all this hate,” Filian said. “And I got to say, it just seemed like there was one thing that I could do  that I had control of."

Rosado says she always tries to see the good in things. “For me, whenever there’s a bad situation, I always remember there’s a silver lining, and this was our silver lining.”

It was the beginning of a huge block participation of acceptance and solidarity as people began to visit the couple with gifts and open hearts. 

Handel said it was a great lesson for their children too.

“We said look at what all the good people are doing, look at all the nice people in the world. For every bad person, there’s 100 nice people," she said. "And it is a really good lesson for them, and for all the children in the neighborhood, to see that there’s good in this world and it always outweighs the bad."

It's an end to a bittersweet year for the couple. Hendel beat cancer and they are tying the knot at the end of December. 

This is one holiday they probably won't forget. 

To watch the news story from WGN click HERE.