BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC33) — Just weeks ago 23 members of the extended Parker family were without a home after a horrible fire devastated their house.
"We still making it, but the lord blessed my mawmaw with another house. And if the pastor would never have gave us that house they would be on the streets right now looking for a home," Tuiquincia Moore, a child living in the home when it caught fire, explained.
The congregation of the Greater Mount Canaan church gave the family a place to live for the next six months, but Pastor Levi Wright said they didn't want to stop there. They wanted to make sure the 17 kids in Mary Parker's care also had a Christmas they would never forget.
"I like seeing my brand new bike because I always like bikes," said Jalicia Miles, another child who lived in the house.
"I am very impressed and very proud to say I am a citizen of baton rouge because the community has really reached out to this family to make their holiday season one of the greatest," Levi Wright, the Pastor of the Mt. Canaan Church said.
Mary Parker, the family's matriarch, and the one every child refers to as 'mawmaw' said she never imagined the community would rally like they have.
"My heart just flutters that people would really work to let children have a wonderful Christmas. And really they never had big things like this because they were too poor or didn't have. But they came, and they helped people to give. I mean people from all over have been calling," Parker explained.
"I want to thank everybody that was helping us and taking care of us. I just know the lord, he'll never let you down. That's all, and that's all I know," Moore added with a smile.