Friends rally behind widow and son after they fall on hard times - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Friends rally behind widow and son after they fall on hard times

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PERRY COUNTY -- A Williamson county woman reaches out to the public to help a Perry County family that has fallen on hard times.

Malinda Pierce's husband died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving her and her son homeless.

The Pierce family have always loved the outdoors and taking their camper to the lake. But a sudden tragedy turned this vacation vehicle into a home for Malinda and her 15-year-old son, Jonny.

The family had lived in a parsonage in Sesser, where her husband Mark Pierce served as a church pastor for over six years. 

She says Mark had been having chest pains, but thought it was stress. Malinda says her world changed one morning when husband started having chest pains again. He was scheduled for a doctor's appointment March 2.

"Sunday morning before church, I woke up to hearing him. I thought he was sick, but I ran in there but he was actually holding his chest and was having a massive heart attack," says Malinda.   

Mark died February 26th, on his way to a hospital.

"It can be very easy to just want to give up but I never have been much of a quitter," says Malinda.
     
A few weeks later, as Malinda began to look for a permanent home, she remembered the family's camper.

"I just worried about them having a home to sleep in, I think more than anything," adds friend Denise Fann Stoecklin.  

That's when Stoecklin took to Social Media asking for help in a GoFundMe page.

Malinda says she's grateful and humbled by the outpour. She's been working odd jobs to make ends meet.

"People can tell you that they love you, they care for you and want to help you, but actions speak louder than words," says Malinda.

Stoeckin says she hopes the family find a permanent place to call home, before Jonny starts school.

"I'm hoping that everybody will share it, even if, gosh, a lot of people would donate a dollar to her campaign. Oh my gosh, that would be so huge for her," says Stoecklin.

Another church in Perry County has helped find a temporary place for the family until they find a permanent home. The family is looking for a home in the Du Quoin community so Jonny can start his freshman year at Du Quoin High School.

To learn more, click on the GoFundMe page

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