Sometimes they say that “When it rains, it pours,” but it’s also said that “After the storm comes the rainbow.”Both of those things were true for Vallejo, California father Troy Gaskin.Not only is Gaskin a single father raising four boys, one of whom is autistic, but the man has also suffered back-to-back heart attacks and lost his job.
As if that wasn’t enough, his home was destroyed in a fire that left his family homeless.But thanks to the loving-kindness of his community and a few celebrities, Gaskin is on his way to restoring the things that were lost to him.Gaskin lost his job installing home theater systems at the beginning of the pandemic and had to suddenly be home with his children who were forced to do school from home because of the pandemic.
He was recuperating from his second heart attack when a faulty electrical panel caused a fire that burned down the rental home where he and the boys lived.
“I grabbed the kids, got them outside, called 911, and just waited. I was in a daze,” Gaskin told KTVU.
Gaskin didn’t have renter’s insurance and lost everything in the fire. Including his children’s laptops, which they used for distance learning.
“I want to get one asap,” Chas Gaskin, Gaskin’s eldest son, said. “Pretty worried because next year is high school for me.”
The family was forced to move into a single-room motel and Gaskin struggled to remain strong. “Everything’s been taken out of me. I’m just trying to survive with these kids,” he said.
“I’ve got to be here for these boys. I’m all they have. I want to show them this is the right path. If you have a child, you need to take care of that child. That’s what I’m trying to instill in these kids.”
Gaskin was worried about being able to find new permanent housing since his medical condition prevented him from going back to work right away.
The community jumped in to offer a meal train and donate to GoFundMe. Kelly Clarkson was so touched by the family’s story that the family was invited on her show for the “Rad Dads” segment which was co-hosted by comedian and actor Kevin Hart.
“The community here in Vallejo is so amazing. I’ve had people come to my hotel room to bring us home-cooked meals, and bring us brand new clothing for me and my children. And some of these people didn’t look like they had even the money to good and that’s the most touching thing. The whole community here is so wonderful,” Gaskin told Clarkson and Hart.
These celebrities weren’t about to let this family go home empty-handed. Their partner Arcade 1Up donated an arcade game for the boys and $40,000, Hart donated $50,000, and Clarkson added another $10,000! Thanks to everyone’s kindness the Gaskins have found a home and are well on their way to getting back on their feet.