Days after a fire consumed their home and left them with only the clothes on their backs, a Ramona family is starting to see hope thanks to their caring friend and generous community.
Patrice and Patrick Doona had their lives flipped upside down Monday when their home went up in flames. Patrice’s mother and the couple’s 1-year-old child were the only ones home.
Patrice told NBC 7 her mother tried to put the fire out with a garden hose, but before she knew it flames had engulfed the structure.
Just minutes after getting back to her home and seeing that everything her family had worked for was gone, Patrice was brave enough to speak with NBC 7 on camera.
“We lost everything. We only have these clothes, that’s all we have. We don’t have anything for our baby, but I’m still so thankful because even though we’ve lost everything, we’re people of faith and I know God is good. He’s never failed me and I know he won’t fail me this time either.”
She went on to express how thankful she was that her family wasn’t hurt, and for the hard work of the firefighters who kept the fire from turning into an inferno in nearby open brush.
The Doona’s tragic story aired multiple times on NBC 7’s evening newscasts and prompted multiple phone calls and emails to the station from generous people wondering how they could help.
Meanwhile, Patrice’s friend Aimee Sandoval had a GoFundMe page up and running to try and help the family survive the tragedy.
“You know, I wanted them to be able to visually see that there was support, that there were people there for them,” Sandoval said.
She was hoping to raise $1,000 and thought anything upwards of that would be a bonus. Well, it climbed well past that mark, and as of Thursday evening it sits just under $13,000.
Patrice said the community’s response has been completely overwhelming and amazing.
“Just seeing the love that’s still out there, the goodness that’s still in people, it’s just unbelievable,” she said.
Message after message from donors on the fundraising site wished the Doona family good luck in their recovery and let them know they were with them in prayer. Some donors even said they’d never met the family and just wanted to help them bounce back any way they could.
“It’s hard to put into words the feeling you get when you see the messages on there and the things that people say,” Sandoval said. “It definitely helps to restore my faith in humanity. You know, there is still good in people.”
So though the Doona family lost everything they had inside their home, they still have each other, friends and the kindness of strangers to help them see it through.