|Updated: 3/26/2012 10:00 pm
||Published: 3/26/2012 5:35 pm
A Saline County teen and her grandmother, who lost everything in a weekend fire, are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support they're getting from the community.
The Perryville High School senior prom is this Saturday, and Alicia Hussey lost her donated prom dress in the fire Sunday. The family also needs every day items like shoes and soap, and a new place to call home.
"The economy hit us hard. We live on a fixed income. My grandmother is disabled. She can't work," says Hussey.
Hussey, 17, and her grandmother, who has lung cancer, live on six-hundred dollars a month. Sunday, her grandmother escaped their burning mobile home south of Paron in Saline County.
"Truly, it was a miracle. She said to me that she was asleep and she thought somebody said her name. That could only be the Lord," says Hussey.
While relatives took her shopping for school clothes to get through the week, Hussey has other needs. With nothing left but rubble, she lost her shoes, personal care items and laptop.
"My term paper for comp. And, I'm in the reserves. I lost my military papers, but materialistic things, none of that means more to me than my grandmother," she says.
After the fire, Hussey came up with a plan for prom. The purple dress she picked out with a family friend burned in the fire.
"I was just gonna wear jeans and bust up in there and say crown me," she said.
Already, dozens of FOX16 viewers have come forward to donate dresses to Hussey. One even sent in a picture of a new prom dress and offered to pay for alterations.
"That is, I am so excited," said Hussey after learning about the donations.
Monday, Hussey's other grandmother told FOX16 that the teen keeps crying because she is so happy that people are helping her.
"Everybody's been so kind. That's the one thing that has made it bearable. It's made it a lot better. I have a bigger family than I thought I did," she says.
For now, Hussey will stay with an aunt in Conway, but driving to Perryville High will get expensive. She hopes to find a permanent home closer to where their old one once stood on Highway 298.
Monday night, the cause of the fire remains under investigation. Hussey's grandmother thinks it started in the garage. She had car insurance, but no homeowners policy.
Hussey's other grandmother, who lives in Sherwood, tells FOX16 she could use any of the following donated items:
-Prom dress (size 4)
-Sunday dress for church (size 4)
-Jeans (size 6 or jr. size 7)
-Shoes (size 7)
There is a spaghetti dinner Wednesday, April 4 at Perryville High School from 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. to help the family.
Also, a bank fund is set up with U.S. Bank. You can go to any branch to donate to the Jennifer Welter for the benefit of Chris Swanson and Alicia Hussey fund.
Alicia's grandmother also says the teen loved her Harry Potter DVD collection, and while she would never ask for it to be replaced while she needs the basics like clothes and shoes, she hopes to track down copies at some point to surprise Alicia.