EWA BEACH (HawaiiNewsNow) - After years of protecting and serving the public, a Honolulu police officer found herself in need of assistance. Last month, Officer Pat Reyes and her family of seven lost their Ewa Beach home to a fire.
Now, the public has a chance to give back.
Most people would see charred wood, melted fixtures and blackened furniture. But Pat Reyes sees a house full of memories.
"When I bought, it was like nine years ago, the kids were still in elementary school and junior high," she said through tears. "So just them growing up here...sorry."
Reyes, a Honolulu police officer, was at work July 22nd, when she received the devastating call. The home that the single mother had created for her three children and four grandchildren was going up in flames.
"Seeing all the fire trucks and the police cars, and just everything that I've worked so hard for gone," she recalled.
Other residents in her townhouse complex -- people Reyes never even knew -- collected about $2,500 plus food, clothing and furniture to help out the officer in need.
"I was always there to try to help other people and now the shoe is on the other foot," Reyes said. "Words just can't explain how it's made us feel."
The money will go towards the $5,000 deductible on her home owner's insurance. The repair work not even underway, she still has to pay her monthly mortgage and maintenance fees, plus rent on a temporary place.
Fellow police officer Keith Ben-Rajab felt that more could be done for the struggling family.
"There's 2,000 officers in the department," he said. "If everybody reaches in their pocket and gives me $10, that's a ton of money. So I said it's a no-brainer, let's just have a fundraiser. We'll raise a ton of money and we'll get them back on their feet."
He hopes members of the public will also turn out for the fundraiser at Pipeline Cafe Thursday night.
"She services the community," Ben-Rajab said. "She helps the community. I think it's a great opportunity for the community to help back."
The fundraiser -- featuring live entertainment, pupus and door prizes -- will begin at 6 PM.
More about this story on HawaiiNewsNow.com:
Honolulu police officer, family copes with loss of home