On the evening of Sept. 14, Adrian Brewster, Etowah High School science teacher by day and Polaris Evening School teacher by night, was driving home after a long day of teaching and was anticipating Cherokee’s fall break.
He was only 10 minutes from home when he got a frantic phone call from his wife telling him that their house was on fire. Adrian arrived to see three active fire trucks in front of his home, with four more on the way. He was relieved and thankful to see his wife, two children and dog safely outside.
However, reality quickly hit him. His home of 11 years, and everything inside, was gone. He now was faced with finding a new home for his family to live in, with only the clothing on their backs.
“For the past 11 years, I have lived in my dear friend’s rental home and have always had rental insurance. As my family grew, I found myself needing to work additional jobs on the weekends or at night to provide. Honestly, rental insurance quickly became a luxury for us. I guess I took a gamble and lost. But, in reality, what really matters is the safety of my family, so we will just need to begin again,” Adrian said.
Firefighters determined the cause of fire was a power surge causing a lamp to spark, catching the lampshade on fire and quickly spreading throughout the home.
Adrian, a private man who takes pride in working hard and making his own way, now realizes every day that his situation is much bigger than him. “I have traveled this world while serving in the Navy, and I have seen firsthand what poverty looks like. My situation today is hard, but so many people have it must worse than we do. We have been blessed by folks who have helped us this past month and those who have donated furniture and dishes,” he said. “I cannot tell you how much grateful we are.”
The Brewster family lived in a hotel for four weeks. Every day, Adrian would take a box to his charred home in an attempt to salvage anything he could. They recently found a rental home in their kids’ school district, allowing his two boys, Elijah, 9, and Cameron, 3, to remain in their schools.
“Our monthly family budget didn’t include security deposits, utility connection fees and clothing,” Adrian said. “It’s amazing how much we take the small things that we have for granted.”
Adrian has served our country and has chosen to live his life serving our children every day. Everyday Angels shares this story in hopes that our community can help him during this difficult season. The Brewster family still needs small appliances, a washer and dryer, linens and clothing — especially with the change of season ahead. We are happy to accept monetary donations for this family or, if you have items to offer, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyday Angels is thankful for our readers, supporters and for the sweet students who shared their concern for their teacher with us. We wish you all a very blessed and safe Thanksgiving!