LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Olton community, including some foster care families and house parents, put on a brisket fundraiser for the three families who lost their homes to fires in the middle of the night last month.
Charles Tabor, who is a foster care parent himself and Olton high school teacher, is one of the recipients of those funds.
“The people in Olton are wonderful when bad things happen, when tragedies take place,” Tabor said.
The fire took everything in Tabor’s home, including antiques and decades worth of memories and the belongings of his kids.
“At two thirty Friday morning, a firefighter banged on the door to get us out. Kailan, my foster son and I were in the home,” Tabor said.
Tabor says he didn’t grab anything on the way out.
The house was home to more than Tabor’s immediate family. Over the years, Tabor has hosted 41 foreign exchange students.
“I had gifts from all over the world: Germany, Ecuador, Slovakia, Brazil, Korea.”
Tabor is the permanent guardian to Kailan Muse, who says it was painful to see the house go, but is thankful for the outpouring support from the community.
“When this happened, the entire town came together and was like what do you need?” Kailan said.
James Wolfe of Swingin’ Rowels Barbeque in Lubbock swept in and donated the meat to the fundraiser, to help a fellow foster care dad.
“Being a foster parent is the hardest job in the world, so whenever you lose something, it’s hard to get that back. You don’t have a lot of people to help out, but sometimes you have an abundance of people to help out. But in this case, this is what we do, we’re house parents, so we give back to kids in need and this was a way to bring the community back together.”
Even though his house is gone, Tabor has moved forward with a smile and thankful heart.
“In large cities sometimes, you’d kind of get lost in the shuffle, and deal with everything on your own. Here, people know you. They know all about you and they are willing to bend over backwards to help you. People come up and give me money all of the time. I just had a lady offer me furniture.”
There is a fundraiser set up for all three families at Happy State Bank in Olton, if you’d like to donate.