Paying it Forward in Glenville, York County

Ashes and debris are all that’s left of Karen and Michael Schmit’s Glenville, York County home.

A space heater caught fire Monday afternoon, quickly engulfing the more than 100-year-old home in flames.

“They lost everything, so I want to do everything I can to give back to them because they’re just wonderful people,” said Danielle Fitzsimmons, who has dated the Schmit’s son Brandon for nine years.

Fitzsimmons’ wish is to pay it forward to them to help them rebuild.

But starting over won’t be easy, the Schmits didn’t have insurance.

“They had to choose back in July between paying for food and their medications and paying their homeowners, so with the economy being the way that it is, they had to make that unfortunate decision,” Fitzsimmons said.

With her fiance Brandon and their son in tow, Fitzsimmons hopped in her truck to surprise the Schmits, who are staying with family.

“She surprised us! She is one special girl,” said Karen Schmit, after being surprised with the $200.

The Schmits’ home had been in Karen’s family for generations. Her grandmother was born in one of the rooms.

Though their loss is painful, the Schmits are grateful to be alive.

“You can always fix stuff,” said Michael Schmit. “It’s not easy, you can always fix stuff, but you can’t fix dead.”

They’re giving thanks to the many friends and family who have taken them in and offered them support.

“Our health is not good at all, so to try and get through it on our own, like I said, I just don’t think either one of us would get very far,” Michael Schmit said.

Anyone who wants to donate to the Schmits can go to any People’s Bank Branch and contribute to a fund in Michael and Karen Schmit’s names.

You can also donate online here: www.gofundme.com/rebuildtheschmithouse

For donations of food, clothing, toiletries or household items, you can e-mail: danielle.fitzsimmons@hotmail.com