WARREN, Mich. (FOX 2) - From start to finish, 2019 has been a trying year for Brandy Brown and her family. But a kind gesture from her city's mayor is helping her end on a higher note.
"This is all for you and your family. This is from the citizens of Warren," Mayor Jim Fouts said to Brandy as he shows her bags and bags full of gifts.
"This was, I'm actually at a loss for words. I never expected this," she said.
On November 30 Brown received a devastating phone call. Her home in Warren had exploded and it was on fire.
"I made it to the corner and it was like a scene off of a movie," she said.
Lost in the fire were all of her father's possessions. He passed away suddenly in January. And just weeks later Brown's mother was injured in a hit-and-run. After the fire, her mom had another health setback.
"I feel like a scrambled egg in the head, so to speak. My mom has been sick since this happened. She's actually at urgent care right now," Brown said.
And in June she lost her job.
And the latest? She now finds herself homeless after the fire.
Brown has home insurance but rebuilding a life isn't easy.
"Living in a hotel out of bags. This is, it's a lot. Mentally physically emotionally, it's very draining," she said.
Warren mayor Jim Fouts put out a call for help on Facebook after he saw her story on FOX 2 News. He wanted help collecting items for Brown and her family during this difficult time. The response was overwhelming.
"I felt she's part of our family. She's lived here all her life, practically all her life, and when this happens to a family member you pitch in to help a member of your family and she's a member of my family," he said.
"I'm very appreciative. My family will appreciate this," Brown said.
Mayor Fouts also had some cash for Brown and her family that was donated by Warren residents.
At this point, it's still not clear what caused the fire. We may never know.
But when Brown puts her head down tonight in her temporary home at a local hotel she will be able to go to sleep knowing that her family's current needs have been met thanks to strangers who answered a call for help.
"It won't help bring back the house but at least it will help you get through the toughest of times," Mayor Fouts said.