Nikita Richardson
Updated Aug 06, 2015 @ 11:31 am
FB message Holly Lafferty

It’s no easy task being a single parent, and yet more than 13.7 million Americans are raising their kids alone every day, including Minnesotan Marc Sable who lost his 28-year-old wife and mother of two, Belinda, to Stage 4 ovarian cancer after doctors discovered her 14-pound tumor last winter.

“It’s been real hard just to make sure food is on the table,” the 39-year-old father said in an interview with USA Today. “And [handling] everyday things with the kids.”

Sable’s job as an overnight custodian, which he had to temporarily leave in May to take care of his late wife, could hardly cover the costs of raising two young children, which means the family of three has gone hungry some nights and slept in their car since Belinda’s passing on June 28. But as it turns out, the Sable family had plenty of people looking out for them — they just didn’t know it yet.

A local woman named Holly Lafferty heard about the family’s story while in the waiting room of the occupational and speech therapy clinic where Sable takes his two children, Katie, 5 and Mason, 3. She was touched by his his story and so headed to Facebook to ask for help on his behalf.

In a post shared the same day Belinda Sable passed, Lafferty wrote, “It takes a village…Do you ever witness a moment that you can’t shake? I had one of those today and would love to make a difference.”

And she did, going on to describe the Sable family’s situation and asking that friends and family donate whatever they could, including kids clothing, toiletries, and toys, gift cards to Target and Walmart, and cash to help the family get back on their feet.

By the time Lafferty got home that day, there were dozens of donations piled on her doorstep—and they just kept coming. In an picture posted just 11 days later, Lafferty shared the long, long list of donations collecting in her home.

“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank each of you for sharing and posting and donating,” she wrote. “Ready for the grand total? You have donated $4,065 in cash, checks and gift cards and this in in addition to a TRUCK LOAD of clothing, toys, books, household supplies. Your compassion and generosity has been beautiful. You have changed their lives!!!”

On July 13, the Sable family finally caught their first full glimpse of everything—watch the Sable kids faces light up here; it’s a moment you won’t soon forget—and now Marc and his brood of two are well on their way to figuring out how to take on the new version of daily life that comes for all families that lose a parent.

“I’m just thankful that people are out there who don’t know me and the story and are willing to help out a complete stranger,” Sable told Today. “The world’s a good place.”

And the story isn’t over yet: If you would like to help out the Sable family and become part of their “village,” head to any Wells Fargo and make a donation to the The Marc W. Sable Family Fund, account number 2040891604.

(Images via TK and Holly Lafferty.)