Family devastated by house fire gets help from Albemarle County Public School program

Updated: Dec. 13, 2019 at 3:47 PM EST
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, V.A. (WVIR) - An Albemarle family of six lost everything in a fire nearly two weeks ago. Now, they’re getting back on their feet thanks to help from the community and a special program through Albemarle County Public Schools.

A fire devastated the home, leaving Christina Smith and her family nowhere to turn. That’s where Albemarle County Public Schools’ Families in Crisis Program has stepped in.

“Our house just burned down and we didn't, we didn't know where to go, we were going to do. The first three days were really, really scary,” Smith said. “We started I think the first few days with 'Oh my God, we lost everything’, and then we decided to turn it around and make it positive.”


In the face of tragedy, Smith is finding hope. “We didn't lose everything, we get to start all over with brand new things, and we're all going to be okay.”

Things started looking up after Smith made a call to Albemarle County Public Schools' Families in Crisis Program.

“They paid a hotel room for me and they gave us some food for the kids and some gift cards to buy stuff that they like to eat and buy them some clothes at Walmart because they didn't even have shoes,” Smith said.

The program aims to keep students in school who may be experiencing homelessness or financial hardship.

“So many of us are so close to one job loss, or one emergency or one health crisis away from losing our housing,” Migrant Support Team Leader Laura Brown said.

This holiday season, the program is asking for donations to help families, including Smith's.

“We always need blankets, warm blankets in the winter months, and the sheets and towels. We always need food resources, school supplies, and backpacks,” Brown said.

“Even just giving them food makes it so that mom and dad can focus more on things like gifts for my child. If I have to worry about what they're going to eat next week, I'm not going to worry about giving my child a gift. I'm going to make sure that they're fed,” Smith said.

For now, with those essentials taken care of, Smith and her family are thanking the community. “There have been so many people that have given us so much and it makes me so thankful and we're all so thankful for everything.”

Right now, Christina Smith and her family are temporarily living in a home in Scottsville but the children are still able to go to their same school.

If you’re interested in donating to Albemarle County Public Schools’ Families in Crisis Program, you can click here.

If you would like to donate to the Smith family GoFundMe, you can click here.

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