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Lexington officer helps community come together to help family in need

Posted at 6:03 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 18:20:48-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The year 2020 has most definitely been a challenging year for many of us. But when you're thousands of miles from home, you may not know where to turn. Sometimes, good people just show up.

Roger and his wife moved to the U.S. nine years ago as refugees from Congo. Living in Lexington, the couple, along with their children, have struggled to make ends meet.

"(He's got a) 14-month-old little girl and then he's got five boys, the oldest being 14. His wife passed away four months ago, unexpectedly in her sleep," Ryan Holland said.

Heartbroken and now a single father, Roger's struggle to support the family only worsened.

"The teachers and everyone that was helping them with the kids when they were going to different schools and the after-school programs have now shut down, he's had to quit working and stay at home and take care of 6 kids all by himself," Ryan Holland said.

Because of his work as a neighborhood resource police officer, Officer Ryan Holland met the single father. Once Officer Holland visited Roger's home, he saw the situation was worse than he imagined.

"Not having the things, he needs to be a dad, to help him. You know, appliances, good bedding, good furniture, clothes, all of those things that a normal home has, they don't have here," Holland said.

So, Officer Holland, while off-duty, made a fundraiser on Facebook. In just a few days, several thousands of dollars have been raised.

A Lexington mom shared the post to a Facebook group asking for donations. Beth Pickrell says the response she's received has been overwhelming.

"It's amazing. People are offering to do anything, from clean the house, to buy groceries, to buy appliances, to clothing donations, all the household items they need. Even diapers and formula for the baby. I mean, this family needs everything," Pickrell said.

Pickrell will be collecting items for the family at Crestwood Christian Church Wednesday, December 9 at 12 p.m. and again at 6 p.m.

"I'm blessed to have people like her, that want to step up and help and all of the people that people that have donated so far. And will in the future," Holland said.