Children who lost everything in Richmond fire get an emotional surprise from Bill and GeNienne

Posted at 3:55 PM, Feb 27, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- A recent fire that damaged the Hernandez family's home and possessions and the hard work and kindness of the Red Cross volunteers who helped the family after the fire left quite an impression on Bill Fitzgerald and GeNienne Samuels.

The CBS 6 anchors chose to extend the goodwill by including the Hernandez family and Red Cross volunteer Debbie Watson in their 6 Gives segment.

"We wanted to make sure you knew how much we appreciate you all for your courage, and still smiling in spite of everything," GeNienne told Summer, Yahaira, and Ailin when they all met again recently in Carytown. "So we wanted to give you guys a shopping spree in the World of Mirth."

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GeNienne Samuels with Summer, Yahaira, and Ailin

Debbie, the Red Cross volunteer who helped the family following the fire, was also part of the surprise.

"We want to thank you for being there. For opening your arms. We want to thank giving so much because it meant a lot to this family and meant a lot to our viewers," Bill told the volunteer.

Inside the store, the girls were able to forget some of their recent hardships.

"It's something for the girls, that's amazing they're gonna love it," George Hernandez said. "They lost a lot of good toys."

"Did you see their eyes," Bill remarked in the store. "They spun around here about 25 times and they still couldn't see enough of it. It's so awesome."

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George Hernandez and Bill Fitzgerald have a dad talk at World of Mirth in Richmond.

"I'm so emotional," GeNienne shared. "When their eyes literally lit up when they realized that they were going to be able to come in here and just have fun and have a shopping spree. I think it just helps me realize that the smallest thing matters."

In addition to the shopping spree, GeNienne and Bill made a donation to the Red Cross in honor of Debbie's service to the organization and community.

For information about helping the family rebound from the fire, click here.

CBS 6 Gives is made possible by Virginia Credit Union. Have an idea about who we should surprise next, click here to email our team.

Do you know about a good news story happening in your community? Click hereto email and the CBS 6 News team.

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