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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Strangers and friends are rallying to help a Central City family who lost everything in a devastating house fire.

On Friday we introduced you to Azreane Holmes, and since then help has arrived just in time for Christmas.

'I can't break down because my other kids don't have nobody. I have to stay strong to them,' said Holmes.

It's hard to imagine losing everything in a house fire just days after your 23-year-old daughter passes away from cancer.

That is how Holmes has spent the last two weeks.

'I got a Christmas tree. I got clothes that were gave to us,' Holmes said while pointing out the donations in her home.

After speaking to Eyewitness News the Central City woman's luck is starting to turn around.

'I've been getting a lot of stuff from people and I appreciate there help. They've been wonderful to me,' said Holmes.

Anthony Quillen and his family saw her story and decided to donate a new refrigerator. Quillen, with help from his son Julian and stepfather Greg Narlock, picked up other WWL-TV viewer donations and delivered them to Holmes and her family this Christmas Eve.

'They were really nice. They brought the stuff. They put it in the house. We didn't have to touch nothing and they're offering more help,' said Ladonna Porter, who also lost her belongings in the Freret Street house fire.

About 30 minutes later on Monday, members of Holmes' church arrived with more donations. Air mattresses, lamps and and other items were unloaded to help fill a home that 72 hours ago sat mostly empty.

'To lose everything at this time of the year. To lose everything at anytime of the year. Grateful for those who've seen the stories and reached out to this family,' said Pastor Martha Orphe of First Street Peck Wesley United Methodist Church.

'I have dishes. These are some clothing someone donated to us,' said Porter, also pointing out bags of new toys hand-picked by community members. Those gifts have been the highlight of her 9-year-old son's day.

As two families work to bounce back from tragedy, they're grateful for those unexpected helping hands. Generosity highlighting the spirit of the season.

'We'll get it together, piece by piece and with the help with the community, and I will give back,' said Porter.

Since Friday night, Eyewitness News has been contacted by at least a dozen viewers wanting to help out.

If you'd like to get involved, Azreane Holmes' employer has set up a fund in her name at any Whitney Bank branch. The family's church is also still collecting donated items:

Contact: Pastor Martha Orphe
First Street Peck Wesley United Methodist Church
2309 Dryades Street
New Orleans, La 70113
Tel: (504) 895-2922

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