TOLLESON, AZ — A Tolleson teacher has inspired community members to help raise money for one of her student's families that has been going through a rough time during the pandemic.
Kathleen Simmons has been an educator for 30 years. She's a 5th grade teacher at Dos Rios Elementary School in the Union School District.
One of her students is Rhayna Day. "She was afraid they were going to lose their home and she wouldn't be able to go to school anymore and she'd have to turn in the computer," said Simmons.
Rhayna's mom, Jessica Day, had to leave her job to take care of her three kids while they did virtual learning. Her fiancé also lost his job due to medical issues. What little help they were able to get from unemployment benefits or family members was not enough to help make rent.
"Eventually we'll be evicted," said Day.
Thanks to the eviction moratorium, Day her family hasn't been removed from their home, but they're struggling to even make the partial payments on their rent.
"I'm afraid of failing and I'm afraid of being homeless and I'm afraid of not being able to provide for them like I was before," said Day.
That's where Ms. Simmons came in. On the Nextdoor community site --she posted that a family at her school needed help, and the response was overwhelming.
"It was a fabulous reminder that we are good people when it comes to our hearts," said Simmons.
Most people gave financial donations. They've raised about $1,100 so far.
"For people just to blindly give like that is absolutely amazing," said Simmons.
"It's shown me a lot and it's shown my kids a lot as far as appreciating what other people can do for you," said Day.
Jessica said she's been shocked and humbled by the help, and the community's support will help them get through this.
"Getting Kathy's help, it's meant the world to me, and I couldn't be more grateful for her kindness," said Day. "She showed me that there's people who really care out there."
For Ms. Simmons--she's just happy to help and wants to make sure all her kids feel safe.
"When it comes to situations like these, I want them to know people are out there that care about them. That there are adults that really care and to speak up."
If you're interested in helping Jessica Day's family, you can donate at their GoFundMe page.