UCM community rallies around student's father who lost home in fire

Posted at 7:22 PM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 23:16:45-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A University of Central Missouri student who recently lost his childhood home to a fire received much-needed assistance after a group of professors stepped in to help.

Seven years after his mother passed away suddenly from a heart attack, senior Nick Welch is studying music technology at UCM.

On top of having to deal with college payments and a heavy workload, Nick recently learned the heartbreaking news.

Last Thursday, a fire destroyed his childhood home in Lebanon.

"It looked like it caught the insulation and the roof on fire," he explained. "From there, it just kind of shot all around the roof." 

His father, who lived at the home, was continuing to take on medical payments following a heart attack last year.

As a result, he fell behind on home insurance payments.

“I’m in college. I don't really have any extra money. Neither one of us like to ask people for help, especially money,” he explained. “I was sitting there that night and thinking that I just don't have a way to help personally."

With his father in need of help, Nick posted a heartfelt message to GoFundMe on the night of the house fire.

The message caught the eye of the music technology program director Eric Honour.

“That's not something that Nick normally does. He's not the kind of guy to ask for help,” he explained. “That really spoke to me. It really made me feel that we need to do something to try and help out with this situation." 

Honour soon forwarded the link to fellow professors at the school, who then donated to Nick’s effort.

With the help of friends and the professors, Nick was able to raise nearly $2,000.

“It's really been heartening to watch our community pull together and support one of our own,” Honour said. 

Days after the fire, Nick’s father was able to secure an apartment to stay in.

Nick told 41 Action News that the donations will go towards paying for his father’s rent and medical costs.

Following the successful donation effort, Nick remained grateful for all the help he and his father received.

“I can't describe how thankful I am,” he explained. “It's not something I expected."