ADAMS TWP — Students at Mars High School know Linda Maloney.
They see her as they enter the building or walk the halls. Her smiling face greets them and she asks them about their day.
As a school security guard, they also know Maloney would go above and beyond to protect them if necessary.
When Maloney’s North Sewickley Township home was lost to a fire on March 29, those same students knew they had to do something to help.
Emily Weis, a senior at the high school, quickly established a GoFundMe account to raise money for Maloney.
“When I first heard about Linda’s fire I knew I had to help because she plays such a big role in our school and she is such a sweet lady,” Emily said. “Linda lost a lot of sentimental things in the fire including her pets. I knew I couldn’t replace any of the sentimental items but I really wanted to help her get back on her feet.”
After starting the account, Emily took to social media to ask fellow students and members of the community to donate. The original goal was to raise $5,000.
The response was fast and furious.
“I changed it to $10,000 because I reached the $5,000 goal in less than two days,” Emily said. “I was extremely surprised and so happy with the result.”
Since then, the campaign has raised $9,025 from 205 donors. Emily said those donations have come in all amounts.
“I believe the biggest donation was $250, but all of the smaller donations have added up to make a huge difference,” she said.
The campaign will continue until the $10,000 goal is reached, and Emily said they could set a new goal.
Maloney can use the money however she needs to help cover expenses and lodging, which Emily said has already been extremely helpful to Maloney and her family.
“When I saw Linda in school, she was so thankful and happy with the community’s response,” Emily said.
Emily said she is overwhelmed by the response to something that took her very little time to organize.
“I’ve had many people tell me how awesome it is that I’ve been helping Linda, and I truly don’t feel like I deserve all of the attention for the simple fact that it only took five minutes to set up the fundraiser,” Emily said. “I am so happy I was able to help Linda out.”
To make a donation visit www.gofundme.com/w7k35-lindas-house-fire.