ALICE, Texas — Early Saturday morning, the Garcia family was notified by a neighbor that their house was on fire.
“I got the kids and my wife out and drove my truck away from the house,” Ruben Garcia wrote in a Facebook post. “We lost every materiel [sic] thing we owned.”
In response to the fire, the people of Alice and surrounding community, have stepped up to support the family by collecting donations.
“That was the first thing that went through my mind, 'what can we do? How can we do it? What do they need?'” said Lisa Cisneros, who has known the family for more than 20 years.
Cisneros, as well as BT Church, where the family goes to church, started helping collect clothing and monetary donations.
“All the items we take advantage of every day, they lost all that,” said Pastor Mathew Moreno. “I think that’s the beauty of being connected to a local church. At a time like this, when you think it’s your lowest, you have this group of people come together to help lift you up.”
Kevin Muñoz is a member of BT Church, and co-owner of K&E Barbecue with his brother-in-law Evan Franco. The duo will be selling plates of food to the public on Tuesday to benefit the family.
“Mr. Garcia, being a deputy, putting his life on the line every day, and serving the community, it was time for us as a community to come together and give back to them,” said Franco.
The brother-in-laws said it was their pleasure to help out.
“I got in touch with Kevin, we discussed it, and we decided it was the right thing to do,” Franco said. “The family is actually a member of my church, and my church family is very important to me,” Muñoz added.
The duo will be at 701 N. Texas Blvd on Tuesday, starting at 11 a.m. They will be selling beef fajita tacos for $6, sausage wraps for $5, and drinks for $1.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” Franco said. “It’s unfortunate what happened to the family, with them losing everything, especially with kids involved. With the holidays, everything going on in the world, it’s just the right thing to do.”
Franco said the two of them could not have done this alone. He credits others in Alice and neighboring towns for helping, including Arrow Drilling, NSCL, Caring Touch Provider Services, Santa Fe Healthcare, Mi Casa Home Health, and the Garza family in Benavides.
“It just goes to show everyone is willing to step up and give back to the family,” Franco said.
Cisneros has been in close contact with the Garcia family since the fire. She said they have received plenty of clothing donations, and appreciate the support they’ve received from their community.
“They’re just overwhelmed with the love and support that their friends, family, and community have given them,” she said. “They don’t even know how to respond because they’re so overwhelmed with love.”
BT Church is continuing to collect monetary donations for the family. Cash, or checks made out to “Ruben and Amanda Garcia,” can be delivered to the church at 77 N. Adams St in Alice. Donations also can be made directly to Amanda Garcia on Cash App, at $amandagarcia910.