Students and faculty at two Metro schools are demonstrating the true meaning of community and are stepping up in a big way to help a family of seven who lost everything in a devastating fire.
"My whole house was engulfed in flames every angle," said Matt Snyder, who watched his childhood home burn to the ground on Jan. 6.
The McGavock High School senior got the call while he was working at Little Caeser's Pizza, so he rushed home.
"Smoke started pouring up the staircase, and my dad started running around the house to try and put it out, but the hose was frozen. The wind chill was zero degrees," Snyder said.
The fire left Snyder with nothing but his work uniform and jacket, and seven family members were rendered homeless.
"It's like you really don't know what to think except, 'There goes everything I have,'" Snyder said.
What he didn't realize at the time his house was burning down was his friends and teachers at his high school were already working on raising money to help his family.
That night, the student body president started putting together a fundraiser.
"We were able to raise $250 in one period, which was 90 minutes, so I was pretty happy," said McGavock student president Ronald Elliott.
The day after the fire, the faculty at McGavock donated $850 out of their own pockets and took Snyder to the mall.
"I got to go that night and go shopping for what I needed - just the immediate needs: clothes, shoes. I had everything I needed immediately," he said.
Then, from his brother's middle school came about $250 more in donations with another check on the way.
Right now, the family is separated as they stay with different family and friends, and Snyder says it's because of them his family has been able to start moving on.
"You realize you have a lot of friends, and I knew I did, but I have a ton and a half," he said.
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