Local

Student PJ promotion raises funds for family

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

There's a new beginning for a family who lost almost everything when an electrical problem sparked a fire that nearly destroyed their home. A community has come together to make sure this family has something to be thankful for during the holidays.

Not one fire, but two, ravaged a Kingwood home on Sunday. All six family members, including four young children, were inside at the time. Their parents pulled them out, saving their lives.

The devastating news quickly spread to Creekwood Middle School, where two of the children attend. Teachers at the school launched a plan.

Teacher Emily Halsted said, "The goal was to do whatever we could."

Students could donate one dollar to the family and in exchange, wear pajamas to school.

"We hoped that we would get lots of money and enthusiasm and excitement," Halsted said. "It was beyond our expectations."

Way beyond -- at last check, the school raised over $15,000! One class alone gathered more than $800 surprising even Creekwood Principal Walt Winicki.

He said, "It's nothing short of breathtaking."

For students this means more than enjoying a day in PJs. They've learned a firsthand lesson to be thankful for what they have, with no guarantees it will be around tomorrow.

Student Rylee Malone said, "I hear that they're a good family and that they really deserve this."

What a difference one school can make in just 24 hours!

"I'm overwhelmed with peoples' generosity," said fire victim Kimberly Fazzino. "Truly something that's so horrible and devastating has turned into a moment of thanksgiving."

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