Community aids burned out family

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 18, 2003

The Christmas season has a tendency to bring out the best in people, so when a family is unexpectedly hit with hard times, it does not take long for the community to rally behind them.

The Lee family &045; composed of mom Marlina and her four children &045; discovered just how generous and giving the people of Selma can be after they lost everything but their lives in a house fire two weeks ago.

The fire in their home on Jeff Davis Avenue occurred sometime during the early morning hours of Dec. 1.

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Thankfully, no one was in the house at the time the fire occurred.

Stephanie Walters, Marlina’s mother, said the children had spent the previous night with her.

The house burned to the ground and fire officials ruled it as a total loss.

The Lee children &045; LaShun, 12, Tachavious, 10, Travonn, 8, and Zemeria, 5 &045; were forced to miss two days of school while their mother and grandmother attempted to replace all their school uniforms and other clothing items.

When news of the fire spread across Clark Elementary, where the three younger children attend, the school and its students immediately went into action.

Selma Middle C.H.A.T. Academy, Walters said, replaced LaShun’s cheerleading uniform.

It did not take long for other people to start helping out the Lee family as well.

Members of Walters’ church, along with her boss and co-workers, all donated money. They also received a donation from Johnson Paint and Body Shop.

The Goodwill and Salvation Army gave the Lee family vouchers to purchase furniture, in addition to the vouchers received from the Red Cross for food and school uniforms.

The Lee’s are currently staying with Walters until they can find a new place to live.

With Christmas fast approaching, the good times should not be too far away. Vaughan Regional Medical Center has already decided to sponsor Marlina and the children to ensure they have an exciting Christmas Day.

The Lee family is grateful for all that the schools and the Selma community has done for them, and they hope to one day be able to return the favor.