PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A tragedy like a home fire is a moment no parent wants their family to ever go through.

"My family had a fire in our apartment," said DeMarcus Walker, who lost everything in the fire.

Walker's son was home alone when the fire started. He saved himself and his neighbors, but not without a cost.

[WATCH: New Kyrene School District program helps community]

"We pretty much lost every single thing we had," said Walker.

It happened one week before Christmas.

"We lost all of our Christmas presents," said Walker.

Thanks to the Purposity program, Walker and his family were able to get help.

The national program is based on a simple thought.

"If you knew what your neighbor needed, then the community would rally around them," said Erin Schroeder, Federal Outreach Program Director for the Kyrene School District.

The Kyrene School District implemented it as part of their family resources program. It's a digital tool the staff can use to share the needs of students and families with the community, a huge help for the Walker family after the fire.  

"Initially we reached out just to get help with basics. Soap. Deodorant," said Walker. "Things like that to get us by."

But the community did so much more by giving the family gift cards to various places, clothing, paying the fees for his son's sports programs and so on.

Here's how it works.

You sign up through the Purposity website and download the app which sends text alerts to your phone.

"Every week the needs of our community get pushed out," said Schroeder.

Karla Rodriguez, a counselor of the Kyrene School District, explained what people can do after they read the stories of the families.

"They can choose the items they want to purchase for the family and go on Amazon and purchase them," said Rodriguez. 

It can be done within minutes through the app.

In the Kyrene District, 123 families were helped last year. The Walker family was one of them.

"After my incident, I was able to help out people and different families cause I got so much from the community," said Walker.  

Go here, to learn more about Purposity

 


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