Jamie Ratliff, Jon Wardle
JOSHUA AND ZANDRA GHIROLI SPENT PART OF THEIR WEEKEND SHOPPING FOR FURNITURE... TO REPLACE WHAT WAS LOST IN A FIRE JUST DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
It's been a difficult year for Army veteran Joshua Ghiroli and his family. They lost everything in a fire just days before Christmas. Ghiroli and his wife Zandra spent part of their weekend shopping for furniture to replace what was lost.
"You don't realize how much it costs to replace your entire house," said Joshua.
A scorched fireplace and burnt rubble are all that remain. Since then, they've been living in a hotel with their son and Zandra's sister, whom they have custody of, trying to figure out how you pick up the pieces when there's nothing left.
"It's been difficult. We lost everything. We lost our dogs, everything's gone. We have to start over," said Zandra.
For Ghiroli, a satellite communications specialist who was medically discharged from the army, it was yet another setback.
"Besides being sick, spending time in the hospital, then getting laid off, then a fire, and all they ended up with was the clothes on their back, it's a terrible situation for a young family," said Arthur Melycher, Commander of the Winsted American Legion Post.
"Me and my wife, we're pretty much inseparable. The fact that we can rely on each other is a big deal," said Joshua.
The Ghiroli's found they have others to rely on too. Melycher led the way and a generous community followed.
Reaching out in person and through the family's GoFundMe website, they've received Christmas presents for the kids, clothes, money, and even help finding a place to stay. For Melycher, he gives because he remembers what it meant to receive.
"When I was on active duty, we had everything we owned stolen, the whole moving truck. And veterans helped me back then and active duty service members helped me. And this is just a way my family and I can give back to them," said Melycher.
With the community's support, the Ghiroli's will soon find themselves in a new home making new memories. They're still struggling financially and searching for work, but it means everything to know they're not alone.
"Never would have thought we'd have the help that we got, but we're extremely grateful for it," said Joshua.
To donate appliances, clothing, furniture, household goods and other items to the Ghiroli family, visit their website at www.gofundme.com/5udr40 to help.