Pass It On: Tragedy strikes on Thanksgiving day

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One local family had an unfortunate change of plans on Thanksgiving day, while many of us celebrated with family and friends.

This story begins with Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history.

"I lost everything during Katrina. Even my grandma," said Toni Loudenbach, who relocated to Memphis in the wake of the massive hurricane.

"I was homeless when I got here."

Loudenbach knows what it's like to lose everything which is why she wanted to help a neighbor in need.

"I'd like to help out Miss. Jean. She's a really good friend of mine, and she lost her house on Thanksgiving," said Loudenbach.

Loudenbach thought Miss. Jean was in her home at the time it caught fire, but she was relieved when she heard that Miss. Jean was unharmed.

"God spared their lives, and I'm very thankful for that," said Loudenbach.

News Channel 3 is going to pass along $300 to Loudenbach so that she can pass it along to her dear friend, Miss. Jean. An anonymous donor and his wife from Nesbit, MS donated an additional $300, bringing the total to $600.

"Let's go! I'm ready," said Loudenbach.

"Hey Miss Jean, I know that things have been tough for you since the house fire that happened on Thanksgiving," said Loudenbach. "Can you please put your hand out?"

Toni began to count the cash as Miss. Jean looked on in shock. "Lord have mercy! Thank you Jesus," said Loudenbach.

It is an emotional day, and Miss. Jean is so very thankful.

"It makes me feel blessed today that somebody out there cares somewhere," said Miss. Jean. "On Thanksgiving morning I had just cut my turkey off and, I went back into the front of the house. It was just blazing up after I left out of the kitchen."

While Miss. Jean lost almost all of her belongings, she is still fortunate that she didn't lose her life. One thing is for sure, she has a neighbor who loves her and cares for her.

"Thank you. Thanks Toni. You're so sweet," said Miss. Jean.

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