A fundraising page has been started for one of the Okotokians who lost their home in a housefire on Sunday (Sept. 4.)

The coworkers and friends of Michella Sawatzky launched a GoFundMe page days after the fire, which raised more than $4000 in under a day.

Sawatsky is starting her third year working at Okotoks Montessori Preschool, and the school’s owner Sharlene Brown says the idea to start a fundraising page came from friends, coworkers, and parents at the school pretty soon after they heard the news.

“It wasn’t something that was easy for her to want us to do but we encouraged her because people don’t know how they could help, so if they can at least send money, they feel like they are helping in some way. It took a little bit of convincing but we were able to ask her to let us help in that respect.”

The loss of a home is devastating, but Brown hopes the fundraiser page will provide comfort in more ways than one.

“It was surprising to see it already, not even 24 hours and above what we were hoping to get for her… I know it won’t solve everything but it will certainly help to know people are thinking of her.”

Sawatzky experienced another devastating loss a year and a half ago when she lost her spouse to cancer.

Many people have offered donations of gift cards and other items outside of monetary donations.

For cases like that, Brown is asking people to email info@okotoksmontessori.com

Otherwise, the GoFundMe page can be found here.