RICH TOWNSHIP, Ill. (WLS) -- For the last few weeks, Rich Township High School employee Romeno Carradine Jackson has been showing up to work with a positive attitude, even with the weight of the world on her shoulders.
"These people standing around me have given me strength every day to come here and keep going," Carradine Jackson said.
Carradine Jackson feels blessed to be alive after earlier this month she and her family awoke to the sound of alarms and the smell of smoke as their Park Forest home was on fire.
"That was devastating. It's devastating when you feel like you have lost everything. But at the end of the day we still have life. We have a chance to rebuild," Jackson said.
She's getting some help from Rich Township High School and Matteson School District 162, where her grandchildren attend.
Both school districts raised more than $10,000 to help the family get back on their feet.
"First I want to thank God. There's many, many blessings", Carradine Jackson said.
The districts collected the money in just a four-day period through a GoFundMe page and drop off cash donations.
"We are really working hard to establish what it means to be a true community and not just in education," Rich Township HS District 277 superintendent Johnnie Thomas said.
"Some of the teachers said OK we know you get an allowance, ho much are you willing to give to a family that has nothing and you saw what happened", Matteson School District 162 superintendent Blondean Davis said.
After the surprise, Carradine Jackson struggled to find the right words to capture the depth of her gratitude for the outpouring of support from the community.
"Thank you. Thank you. thank you. I wish there was a word bigger than that," Carradine Jackson said.
Moments later, Carradine Jackson was back doing what brings her joy, serving others.