MOSS BLUFF, LA (KPLC) - Joey and Julie LaPointe had a full house before they took in her sister's children after a horrific car crash that left nephew, Blake, in a wheelchair.
"I know in my heart God has a purpose. As long as they need me, I'll be here," said Julie, gathered around a table with her large family.
It doesn't take long to sense there's a lot of love here, even though the house isn't made for two adults and eight kids or well suited for one who uses a wheelchair.
"It's overwhelming, but I'm pretty tough I guess," said Julie as she chokes back tears.
The carpet has been pulled up to make it easier for Blake to maneuver around and two of the girls use the living room as their bedroom. That's so Blake can have his space. He's the only boy except for Uncle Joey. He grins ear-to-ear when asked, "So, what is it like living here with all these girls?"
"It's okay," he laughs with that smile that could melt an iceberg.
Julie smiles as she describes the active 9-year-old.
"He's a very bubbly, busy, every 'B' word I can think of that goes with boy, bouncing. He stole my heart," she said.
The LaPointes have never asked for help. Joey is a self-employed snack food vendor proud to support his family.
"I don't want anybody to pay my house note. I don't want anybody to pay my utility bill. I don't want anybody to put food on my table," he said.
Yet, Joey acknowledges the house needs improvements for which he has no money.
"The problem is, at the end of the month, there's very little dollars left. And to be able to expand a doorway, add a roll-in shower, make a ramp for the den, put up a wall. Because we had to displace a couple of our girls because, like you mentioned, he's the only boy," said Joey.
But friends and church members see the struggle and want to help get the house remodeled. Reciana Johnson held a fundraiser last week at Peto's in Moss Bluff.
Christol Daniels is a family friend, also trying to support the LaPointes.
"God has placed upon her heart to be a caretaker of his children. We need some walls taken down so he can maneuver throughout his home and he can flourish. He's a growing boy. He's nine years old," said Daniels.
Blake smiles shyly when asked about himself. How's school? "Good," he said. What do you like about school? "Math," he quickly responded.
And so, friends work try to raise money for remodeling for a family whose love and generosity has touched many hearts.
Anyone who wishes to help the LaPointe family can contribute to Jeff Davis Bank account called "Friends Helping Friends" in the name of Julie LaPointe. There is also more information about the family's needs on a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/FriendsHelpingFriends2/
A bake sale is planned at Peto's in Moss Bluff from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. Peto's is across from Market Basket. Friends are also raffling off some gift cards to local restaurants.
Julie LaPointe said there's also a PayPal account linked to their Jeff Davis Account under firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on a benefit being held for the LaPointe family on Sept. 20, CLICK HERE.