Fire victims pay it forward to another family in similar situation

Published On: Mar 11 2013 01:55:49 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 04 2013 06:45:22 PM EST

A family who lost everything in a fire wants to pay it forward after getting some much-needed help from our viewers. It's a positively Jax story about the generosity of people in our community.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Two weeks ago, a fire gutted an Arlington apartment, burning just about everything inside.

Left behind was a family of eight, which then had no clothes, furniture or a place to stay.

After Channel 4 aired the story about what happened, the emails and phone calls came in from viewers wanting to help the Jacksons. One of the calls came from someone familiar to Channel 4's Vic Micolucci.

"So then your story runs and, what, five minutes after that story runs, Taunya (Patterson) calls me. 'Hey, Vic, I want to pay it forward,'" Micolucci said.

Patterson's family had been in the same situation the afternoon of Sept. 9. It was a Sunday, and the family was watching football when their house burned down.

Channel 4 covered that fire, and dozens of viewers also opened up their hearts, donating all kinds of things to Patterson, her husband Kenny, and their children.

"Everything that you see in here, in this whole house, people gave me," Kenny said.

So, now back on their feet, in a new home and thriving, the Patterson family decided it was time to give back. And they did, donating clothes, furniture and electronics to the Jackson family.

"We were blessed. So anything I can do, I will be more than happy," Taunya said.

It won't replace everything the Jackson family lost, but it's a step in the right direction.

"We lost everything, but God still made a way," Derek Jackson said.

"It helped out a lot because I don't have anything, so every little thing counts," Ciarra Jackson said. "I appreciate it."

It's a story of paying it forward both families hope their children learn.

"It's a blessing. Anytime you're able to help somebody, it's good, man," Kenny said. "It felt good. It's good."

For both families, it's a life lesson that shows giving is better than receiving.

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