Community helps give Christmas to family who lost home in fire - WSMV News 4

Community helps give Christmas to family who lost home in fire

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A Springfield family was still able to celebrate Christmas, despite losing their home to a fire in October, after some generous people helped them out.

"It's been really hard, but to see so much support from other people, that other people care so much," said Rhonda Chennault, mother of the family.

Since then, the family of 10 has been tightly packed in a house with family friends.

"The Bakers have just really been wonderful. It's like our kids just blend all together," said Rhonda Chennault.

The chance of gifts this Christmas year was slim until the Nashville Business Incubation Center and STAR Physical Therapy decided to adopt the family for the holidays.

"I didn't really expect much; I didn't expect them to spend a lot on us. Most of them probably have children of their own to spend money on," said Syerra Chennault.

The Chennault family's goal was to have a new home built by Christmas, but they had a few setbacks.

They say they're thankful for the outpouring of gifts and support from the community.

"They really weren't expecting to have a big Christmas this year and that was one of the things I told them, was that living with somebody else, you know, bouncing back and forth for different events and stuff. I said, we're not going to do a big Christmas. We can't," Rhonda Chennault said.

But at midnight, the family of 10 opened countless gifts, a family Christmas tradition they were able to keep.

"I was so excited. I just had this big pile of stuff. And there were clothes and shoes and jewelry, and I was just amazed," Syerra Chennault said.

One of the most special presents was a tricycle for their oldest son, Zakari, who has Down syndrome.

"He's really wanted to get out there and ride bikes with the other kids, but, he's had the hardest time trying to balance on the bike, so the trike is just perfect," Rhonda Chennault said.

Through great loss, the Chennault children have learned to always give to others, and they're thankful to those who've given to them.

"I'm grateful beyond words for everything everybody has done. There's so many people, I could never thank everybody. And I could never thank everybody enough," Rhonda Chennault said.

The Chennaults say the plans to build a new home have been at a standstill, but they hope to be able to start back up as early as this weekend.

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