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Anonymous donor gives Thanksgiving dinner to Holliston family who lost house in fire

"I can’t thank him enough for offering to do something for us that allows us all to get together."

After a devastating fire destroyed the home of a Holliston family last Monday, an anonymous donor gave them a Thanksgiving meal.

Since 1971, Edna and Bob Touchette fostered over 300 children — eight of which they have adopted — in their Holliston home. The house at 1004 Washington Street caught fire around 9 a.m. on Monday, WCVB reported.

“My parents lost their house of 50 years,” daughter Janell Ramirez told 7 News. “So many memories, so many generations, so many kids.”

Bob, the family’s adopted son Anthony, and two foster kids ages two and four, were home when the fire erupted but were able to safely escape the flames.

Since the fire, the local community has provided an outpouring of support for the family. A GoFundMe for the family has raised over $174,520.

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“My parents are very overwhelmed with everything going on,” daughter Lucinda Touchette Hickey wrote on the GoFundMe page. “They are feeling the virtual hugs they are receiving from the community and it is definitely helping them through this challenging day.”

Lucinda announced that an anonymous donor paid for the Touchette family to have a Thanksgiving meal together. The family was able to share a meal at Prezo Grille and Bar in Milford on Saturday

“My parents are starting to find their smiles through this darkness,” Lucinda wrote with a picture of the Touchette family at the restaurant. “Thanks to everyone that is showing such love and support! Seriously!”

“I can’t thank him enough for offering to do something for us that allows us all to get together,” daughter Brenda Touchette told 7 News. “Something we’ve done forever and not having that for Thanksgiving would’ve been hard for all of us.”

Donations on the GoFundMe came from over 2,000 people. Some were classmates and teammates of the many Touchette children, while others were neighbors or strangers to the family.

“People I’ve grown up with — who I haven’t talked to in years — reaching out and showing support and donations and everything — this lunch today,” daughter Sonja Touchette said. “Everyone’s been super supportive and I think especially for my parents, it has really brought some light in a very, very dark situation.”

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Lucinda wrote on the GoFundMe that the family currently has a potential option for new housing lined up.

“Please lend your prayers that [the housing] will come through ok!” Lucinda wrote on the GoFundMe Saturday. “My parents’ main wish — get back to one house with my youngest brothers.”

Ramirez told WCVB that without this lunch, she is unsure when the next time this many family members would have been able to meet up together.

“My parents’ house was that place,” Ramirez told WCVB. “None of us have a house big enough to house all of these people, so it’s a big deal.”

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