When you’re out and about with your family, whether running errands or spending some quality time together, you aren’t generally wondering if everything at home is OK. Most of us expect our home to still be standing when we return because, well, they usually are.
But when Ayleen and Ryan Apathy of South Florida got home after a day out with their kids, they were met with a devastating sight: Their home, their possessions and even their family dog had been destroyed in a fire.
While it was a mercy that none of the human family members were at their home in southwest Miami-Dade County when the fire took off, the family has been left to pick up the pieces. A co-worker and friend set up a GoFundMe page for the family, explaining that both Ayleen and Ryan are nurses — Ayleen is in labor and delivery, and Ryan is an ICU nurse.
They both work at Mercy Hospital in Miami, according to WTVJ-TV in Miami.
Since the fundraiser’s start in late July, the family has received a pledge amount of $60,000 — but it will take much more than that to rebuild.
A young man saw their story on the news and was compelled to help. Steven Ferreiro, just 16, is no stranger to helping strangers, and has even launched his own nonprofit called “Helping Others and Giving Hope.”
“A Florida based non-profit organization where we support and assist many going through difficult times throughout the communities,” the Helping Others and Giving Hope Facebook “about” page reads.
“I chose to help since they’re first responders in our local community and since they’ve been doing such amazing work,” the young man told Inside Edition Digital.
“I also believed they needed help because they have a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old, and I couldn’t believe what they are going through at this moment in a different home and not living in their own.”
Ferreiro got to work, finding a local real estate company that would be willing to work with the family. AHS Residential answered the call for generosity.
“At AHS Residential, our community and its wellbeing is a priority,” AHS Residential posted on Aug. 7. “We partnered with @officialhoagh, a local non-profit, to help two frontline nurses from Mercy Hospital who lost their home in a fire earlier this month.”
“AHS Residential donated a brand new 2 bedroom apartment in our AHS at Coral Reef Community to Ryan and Ayleen Apathy and their family to live in, rent-free, for several months.”
The couple plans to rebuild their home, and thanks to the philanthropic spirit of people like Ferreiro and AHS Residential, they can do that from a close and comfortable spot.
“I know they’re going to reconstruct their own home and go back into there in the future, but while they could, it meant the world to me to be able to give them a new place to stay,” Ferreiro explained.
His nonprofit’s page also posted a message about the gift, along with several photos of the family checking out their new digs.
“Today we had the chance to surprise the Apathy family which are both frontline nurses at Mercy Hospital with an apartment with our partners at @ahsresidential after losing their home in a fire,” the page shared.
“We are so grateful we were able to do this today and we are glad they can now call that place a home! Thank you again to our partners @ahsresidential for making this happen with us!”
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