Community support “overwhelming” after educator loses home

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HOXIE, Ark. (KAIT) – The Hoxie School District and community came together to help a school employee who lost everything in a house fire.

On the morning of Friday, Sept. 16, Dean of Students Randy Puckett got a call no one wanted to receive.

“I left my house at about 6:40, came to school here, got on my bus route and took off, and got a message on my bus route that my house was on fire. I finished my bus route, then went home,” he said.

Randy explained when he arrived at the scene of his burning home, he knew it would be a significant loss.

“They had already pretty much knocked down the flames, but one half of the house was for sure burnt up, and I didn’t know what the other half looked like,” he recalled.

When Randy found out his home was going to be a complete loss, the community jumped in, ready to help.

The dean has served in various roles at Hoxie for 12 years, but he has spent nearly 30 years as an educator.

A GoFundMe was set up by Randy’s daughter-in-law, Kim James Puckett, for $4,000 and is now near that goal.

However, that’s not the only thing the community has done to benefit Mr. Puckett.

“Buckets for Puckett” is a volleyball serving contest being held on Thursday, Sept. 22 before a senior varsity volleyball game, with all proceeds going back to help Randy with expenses of getting back on his feet.”

Kim said as a family, they are speechless for all the help they have received.

“Whether you had him as a basketball coach in previous years or as a teacher, for those students to come back and show him so much love, the support I know has been a great blessing for him,” she said.

Kim added the situation could have turned out much worse than it did, but she knew someone was watching out for Randy and has a plan.

“We just want to thank God for keeping his hedge of protection over Randy. We definitely want to say thank you to New Life Cathedral, and our church family, for stepping up with their prayers, love and support. It has been so overwhelming,” she said.

Randy plans to purchase a new home in the near future.



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