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Community support is ‘overwhelming’ after educator loses home

HOXIE, Ark. (KAIT) – The Hoxie School District and the community have come together to help a school employee who lost everything in a fire.

On the morning of Friday, September 16, Dean of Students Randy Puckett received a call that no one wanted to receive.

“I left my house around 6.40am, came to school here, took my bus route and left, and got a message on my bus route that my house was in fire. I finished my bus ride and then went home,” he said.

Randy explained that when he arrived at the scene of his burning house, he knew it would be a major loss.

“They had already pretty much put out the flames, but half the house was on fire, and I didn’t know what the other half looked like,” he recalls.

When Randy discovered his home was going to be a total loss, the community stepped in, ready to help.

The dean held various positions at Hoxie for 12 years, but he spent nearly 30 years as an educator.

A GoFundMe was set up by Randy’s daughter-in-law, Kim James Puckett, for $4,000 and is now close to that goal.

However, that’s not the only thing the community has done to benefit Mr. Puckett.

“Buckets for Puckett” is a volleyball service contest held on Thursday, September 22 before a senior varsity volleyball game, with all proceeds going to help Randy get back on his feet.

Kim said that as a family they are speechless for all the help they have received.

“Whether you had him as a basketball coach in previous years or as a teacher, for these students to come back and show him so much love, the support that I know has been a great blessing to him,” he said. she declared.

Kim added that the situation could have turned out much worse than it did, but she knew someone was watching Randy and had a plan.

“We just want to thank God for keeping his protective hedge over Randy. We really want to say thank you to New Life Cathedral and our church family for stepping up their prayers, love and support. It’s been so overwhelming,” she said.

Randy plans to buy a new house in the near future.


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