Chris Johnson only caught bits and pieces of a recent school announcement, but he knew he needed to do something to help.
“I heard some of an announcement during bus duty and it was about a house fire so it caught my attention,” Johnson, a special education math teacher at Harry Hurst, said. “They were asking for $1 donations for the kids to dress down to raise money for the family.”
Johnson asked around the school for more details so that he could help, and what he learned was heartbreaking – a local family of 11 who has 8 children attending school in the parish had recently lost everything they owned in a house fire.
Johnson posted a message on Facebook asking for help, and he said the community has been extremely responsive. An entertainment center, television, mattress, clothes and hundreds of dollars have been collected so far.
“It’s tough when you think about it from their perspective,” Johnson said. “They’re about to have the worst Christmas ever and they might lose their faith humanity … maybe even their faith in God. I just wanted to help restore faith in humanity and restore their Christmas.”
Johnson, who works at Destrehan’s Pulse Fitness after school, will lead an outdoor workout Saturday, Dec. 19 at 9 a.m. as a fundraiser. At the free class donations will be accepted for the family.
Venmo donations can be sent to @Chris-Johnson-268 and physical donations can be dropped off at Pulse Fitness, located at 3001 Ormond Blvd., Suite A in Destrehan. Johnson can be reached at 504-491-5489 to organize the drop off of any larger items.
The family has boys in clothing sizes 3T, 6/7, 7/8 and 10 and girls in sizes 8, 12 and a junior’s size 5. The adults in the family wear a size 14 and 20 in women’s pants and a size XL and 2X in shirts. The man wears a size 32/34 pants and medium shirt. Shoe sizes needed include: boy’s 7 toddler, 8 toddler, 12 kids, 1 kids, 2 kids and 4 kids; girl’s 4 kids; women’s 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10.
“I’ve been getting messages all day,” Johnson said. “Everyone wants to help. Our community is awesome.”