Andy Banker, NORMANDY, MO (KTVI) ––A story of true friendship and inspiration is rising from tragedy and heartbreak.
The massive fire that displaced dozens of families in Normandy, February 21, is proving no match for a pair of seven year old boys.
It’s like this with best friends: when one hurts, the other knows the pain.
Kollin Clark feels like what happened to his best friend and 1st grade classmate at Tower Grove Christian School, Ryan Branson, happened to Kollin.
“It made me feel sad when his house burnt down,” Kollin said.
The Branson family is one of more than 30 displaced in the massive 7-alarm fire at the Norwood Court apartments. The Branson’s lost everything, including all the important “stuff” from the 7 year old perspective — Ryan’s favorite toys.
Kollin took their plight to his mom.
“He said, ‘mommy my friend Ryan at school, his house is gone,’ ” said Kollin’s mother, Jessica Clark. “’You know it really makes me sad. Can you tell all the Facebook people that Ryan needs new Ninja Turtles?’”
With Kollin’s help, his mom told those “Facebook people”, posting a video to social media. The response has been astounding, with more than $8,000 donated to a “Go-Fund-Me” page for the Branson’s in the first 5 days.
Adults are learning lessons from the 2 boys.
“That it’s okay to help out your friends,” said Ryan’s mom, Sonya Wells. “It’s okay to be selfless rather than selfish, because a lot of times we see a lot of selfishness. So it’s good.”
“All of my toys, I had, they were in the house and they broke. But I am getting new toys, that’s the good part,” Ryan said.
“I really couldn’t process what was happening, but after I sat down and really watched it with my mother, I was sitting there in amazement and my mother started crying,” said Ryan’s dad, Ryan Branson, Sr.
“Go to his page to donate or call my mom if you want to give him stuff,” Kollin says in the video.
This is the “stuff” of true friendship. No fire can destroy that.
There’s still no word on the cause of the fire. You can donate to the Branson family