FIRESTONE, Colo. -- Out of every tragedy lies a silver lining.
For the Fisser family, that silver lining came in the form of donations organized by Aurora paramedic and firefighter Paul Shoemaker and firefighter Dan Toomey.
The pair worked a house fire last week that destroyed everything the Fisser family owned and killed their three family dogs.
The pair of firefighters felt they had to do something to help the family out.
“This one just touched my heart because of the fact that I have a little girl and I couldn’t imagine what it’s like to try to have a Christmas after you lose everything,” said Shoemaker. “The people that reached out to help definitely blew my mind.”
Using the power of social media, Shoemaker gathered attention all over Highlands Ranch and received donations from all around the community.
Donations included gift cards totaling over $1,000, toys, bikes, household goods and a two-night stay at an upscale downtown Denver hotel.
Tuesday afternoon, Shoemaker and Toomey loaded up the two pick-up truck loads of donations and drove to Firestone, where the Fisser family is staying, to surprise them with the gifts.
“I don’t know how to handle it. I didn’t think we ever needed help or anything like that, but it’s been such a crazy, crazy time. We’ve had such an outpouring; it’s been amazing,” said Steve Fisser, who lost everything in the house fire. “Our community, our church, our family, everybody around us has been amazing. It just shows the good side of everybody and it’s a great side.”
“The outpouring has been beyond words honestly. All last week, all I could do was cry for a week. But it wasn’t just from the fire, it was obviously from all of the love we’ve gotten,” said Jennifer Fisser, Steve’s wife. “How do you repay this? How do you every repay this type of kindness that we’ve been shown -- I mean in gifts and money and everything.”
There are certainly lessons learned from this kind gesture.
“This was teaching people how to give back to the community, it wasn’t just an act of, ‘Let’s just get some money and give it to them and they’ll be fine.’ I think it’s teaching families how to give back and it’s such a cool feeling,” said Shoemaker.
And there are more lessons left to teach others.
“We’ll never be able to use all of this and we’re going to hopefully show our children how to give back to the community and other kids that need it as well,” said Jennifer Fisser.
It proves yet again, that silver lining can come from anywhere or anyone, including people you don’t even know.