For Goodness' Sake: Big surprise for fire victims

A Philadelphia family who lost everything in a fire has new hope.

Months later, this mom is still working tirelessly to provide for her family.

FOX 29's Bill Anderson met a group of strangers who are giving them the surprise of a lifetime, "For Goodness' Sake."

"As I lay in the emergency room at [Albert] Einstein [Medical Center], my niece, she was home with my children, sent me a text message telling me that underneath my bed was on fire," Thelma Covington Carroll said.

This family has really had a tough go of it. They lost pretty much everything in a fire. They had no idea they were about to get a surprise from a group of strangers.

"We basically only have what you see in this living room," Covington Carroll said. "I borrowed this table from a friend, this one from my Mom. There's nothing upstairs."

She didn't have renter's insurance because she was already out on unpaid medical leave and money was very tight. Since then, it has been a struggle to try to get back on her feet.

"From March to August of this year, we were in the shelter," Covington Carroll said.

Over time, she's managed to raise and save enough money to get her family in another house. But they have no furniture, winter clothes, nothing.

But her story got to a friend that we met during another "For Goodness' Sake."

"We actually went to her house last year and we gave the whole family Thanksgiving gift baskets," Kenneth McDuffie said. "And ever since last year she just became part of my family."

McDuffie and other friends shared the family's story. So, while Covington Carroll thought we were there to help her spread the word about a GoFundMe account, this happened.

Knocking at the door was a representative of Today's Furniture, who said, "We're in the neighborhood and heard about your loss, and we're willing to donate some furniture to you guys."

Some furniture is a huge understatement. The local furniture business pulled up in a truck and donated bedroom sets for every room and a kitchen set.

A local car dealer gave them clothes and a gift certificate for groceries.

Both businesses said they did it just because it was the right thing to do.

"We're in the community and its devastating what happened to her and we want to do what little that we can," one business owner said.

"When you hear about something this bad happening, we want step in and do what we can," added the other business owner.

And Covington Carroll, after a year of horrible luck, was visibly shaken and outwardly thankful.

A family in bad shape, a friend, and two businesses with no incentive to help except they could, so they did, "For Goodness' Sake," Anderson reported.