Family needs help after bus used to carry adopted 7 kids burns - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Family needs help after bus used to carry adopted 7 kids burns

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WAYNE, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A Wood County family needs some help this Easter weekend. A bus they used to get their 7 adopted children around, 2 of whom have physical disabilities, caught fire last weekend.

The Below family from Wayne, Ohio says they are in a bit of a pinch. A bus they purchased a month ago with their tax return money is no more after a fire. Now they have no money left and even fewer options.

Deb and Chuck Below thought they were done having kids after their six combined kids were old enough, but 15 years ago the two started fostering babies.

"We fell in love and kept falling in love. So here we are with 7 kids that we've adopted out of the 20 some that we have fostered. They're all a huge blessing," said Deb.

All seven of their kids suffer from some type of disability. Nick has Down Syndrome and leukemia. Damien has cerebral palsy, which requires the use of a wheel chair. The family's 15 passenger van isn't big enough with two rows of seats removed to make room for a lift and Damien's chair. But Deb had a dream.

"We had a dream of owning our own bus," said Deb. "We prayed a lot about it and about a month ago, we found one."

That dream, unfortunately, was short lived. The family had the bus for just a month. Then, last month while the family was in church, the bus caught fire.

"Someone came in yelling 'fire!' we went out and it was our bus. The wind was so strong it just went like the crazy. The whole inside just burned and there's nothing left," said Deb.

The family used all of their money, even their tax return money to purchase and make the van drivable. It even had a changing table for nick and Damien since most facilities don't have one large enough.

"Yea, we have no more money to go buy one. We have nothing left," said Deb.

The junkyard gave them $1,000 for what was left of the bus. The family will not be getting money from insurance due to the age of the bus. The Belows are a proud family and aren't actively seeking donations, but they would gladly accept any sort of help with finding a new bus.

"If anybody would want to donate, we would be so grateful. Oh my gosh, it would be so overwhelming. Overwhelming," said Deb.

If you think you can help the Below family, send an email to News@ToledoNewsNow.com.

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