LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – An Aurora firefighter is helping a Colorado family affected by house fire in Littleton.
This Christmas, Paul Shoemaker is helping the Hughes family who was left with nothing after a fire destroyed their home earlier this month.
“When we count the losses compared to the blessings, there’s no match,” Marie Hughes said about the outpouring of support her family has seen.
Shoemaker is among those who have reached out. He heard their story and took it upon himself to help turn their holiday around.
“Being able to help those kids put a smile on their face. That makes me the most happy,” Shoemaker said.
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He has seen devastation before, but the fire that took the Hughes home was among the worst he has seen.
“There’s nothing. Nothing left,” he said.
Every year, Shoemaker collects donations and Christmas gifts for at least one family affected by fire.
“With my job I deal with a lot of things that are never necessarily good. So, you go an entire year seeing bad thing after bad thing. It’s why I started doing this,” Shoemaker said.
Initially he would donate as much as he could on his own, but with the help of social media, it’s now a community effort.
“It’s pretty easy to do because so many people are willing to help,” he said.
Despite having their lives turned upside down, the Hughes family says people like Shoemaker give them hope.
“The outpouring from the community has just outweighed the tragedy by far,” said Hughes.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.