MU fraternity helps brother after family\'s home burns down
COLUMBIA - An MU fraternity is rallying around a brother in need after his house burned down last week.
Alpha Gamma Sigma member Tristan Green was finishing up his first semester of college when he received a life-altering call from an old teacher from his hometown.
"I had received a call that our house had gone up and was currently burning, and that the fire department was on the scene," Green said.
Green said his first thought was his family's safety.
"Everything can be replaced. Valuables aren't as important as family," Green said.
Thankfully, everyone was fine. Tristan's 17-year-old brother Cody was at school, and his mother and her boyfriend were at work.
As soon as Green's fraternity brothers and house director heard the news, they bonded together to help in any way they could.
"I had several of the boys go upstairs and go through their closets and get their sweatshirts, shorts, whatever. They asked me what size Tristan's little brother was, so I asked Tristan and brought down arm-loads of clothes for him," Teri Meier, affectionately called "Momma T," said.
Next, Momma T set up a GoFundMe website to help raise money for anything the family may need.
"There's so much when you have a loss like this to replace," Meier said. "It just breaks your heart. To think of any family going through something this bad at Christmas."
The goal was to raise $3,000. In just four days they have almost reached their goal, at $2,980.
Still, the brothers would like to raise more than their goal, many of them not knowing the extent of the family's need.
"No one even really knows, because the truth is before the house even happened, we had already found out bad news about my mom. My mom, she just underwent surgery," Green said. "She had colon cancer and some spots on her liver. She had just been diagnosed with that so, whenever we found out about the house it was just even more."
Green said his family is private, so he hadn't told many of his friends at school about his mom's health issues.
"It was the worst time possible for something else happen to the family because it was not even a week before the fire happened that he told me Mary had cancer," Shipley said.
Anyone who knows Green well, knows his family is the most important thing to him. Green said there's only been two people in his life who he could go to no matter what, his mom and dad.
"He's incredibly close with his mom," Green's fraternity brother and roommate Marcus Shipley said. "We actually just participated in in a sorority talent show, and he sang his mother's favorite song. She was in the audience and everyone thought it was the most precious thing ever," Shipley said.
"She's a concerned mom and a involved mom, but not a smothering mom. She is just the sweetest. So sweet," Meier said.
Green said the money raised means more than he can possibly put into words.
"When you find out about everyone supporting you like that, it's nice to know there's that many good people out there, and I know that my brother's are there for me, and that the community was there for my family," Green said.