A crowdfunding campaign launched by two Vancouver police officers to help a young family rebuild their lives after a fire destroyed their family home has nearly doubled its goal.
The Edwards-Cyrus family — which includes dad Jason, mom Fay, six-year-old Zahiem, and four-year-old Isaiah — lost everything when a Dec. 1 fire ravaged their Renfrew Street home.
The fire was started after Isaiah accidentally knocked over a candle. Fay and Isaiah were the only ones in the home at the time, but the two were able to escape, and suffered only minor smoke inhalation.
Two Vancouver police officers who assisted the family in the aftermath of the fire were so touched by the family’s situation that they spearheaded a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to help raise funds to get the family back on its feet.
The Edwards-Cyruses moved to Vancouver from Montreal just over a year ago. Fay works at a fast-food chain, and Jason works as a full-time mover.
Their rental suite was not insured, and even the clothing Fay and Isaiah wore during the escape had to be destroyed due to contamination.
“Isaiah left the hospital wearing a paper bunny suit as all of his clothes were lost,” read an initial update from Vancouver police.
But just one week later, the campaign has already reached nearly $18,500, far surpassing its initial goal of $10,000.
“We just want to say ‘thank you all from the bottom of our hearts,’ ” read a message from Fay posted to the campaign site.
“My family and I really appreciate all the donations to help us rebuild our lives and our home. Thanks to all who donate to give our kids a merry, merry Christmas.
“Words can’t express how much it means to my family and I.”
The VPD also posted an update to Facebook on Tuesday, thanking the public for their support and help.
“After the fire, two Vancouver police officers, Const. Allen and MacGregor, created a ‘Go Fund Me’ account in an effort to help this family get back on their feet, and we reached out to you for help,” read the update. “And boy, did you ever come through.”
The Edwards-Cyrus family have since moved into a new place and are using the funds donated to begin putting their home back together.
Many other strangers and organizations have also stepped up, offering to donate household items and even Christmas decorations to help the family get back into the holiday spirit.
Donations are still being accepted at the VPD’s GoFundMe site for the Edwards-Cyrus family, which will remain active until Dec. 31, 2014.