School helps El Cajon family who lost everything in apartment fire


EL CAJON, Calif. — A family who lost nearly everything they owned in an apartment fire earlier this month is bouncing back from the disaster thanks to donations from a local school.

“Ever since it happened, it’s just been love from everywhere, unconditionally,” said Javonte Jones, who lives with his wife Shanice and their two sons, ages 4 and 6.

Word about the fire quickly spread at Magnolia Elementary, where their oldest son is a student. Counselor Debbie Stallard said they put out an email earlier this week and had piles of donations in just two days. On Friday morning, school staff showed up with boxes.

“We are so excited to be able to make someone’s day,” Stallard said. “This family is near-and-dear to our hearts. A lot of our students live in this complex and they were touched by this story.”

The boys and their parents were staying with family until Thursday, when they moved into another unit in the complex. The timing could not have been better for the donations, from food and clothing to bedding and kitchen supplies.

“I just want to say thank you so much. I couldn’t imagine all of this in two days,” Shanice Jones said.

The group also gifted the family a new Chromebook for schoolwork.

“In a time that’s hard on all of us, the way we feel better is to help others,” Stallard said.

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