After her mother, father and four siblings were brutally killed July 9, an outpouring of public support for Cassidy Stay is keeping a smile on the brave teenager's face.
As of Tuesday evening, more than $325,000 had been raised via a GoFundMe page created by community members. All donations made through the page will go toward a trust fund for the 15-year-old, who "will no doubt need major financial support in the future" without her parents.
Last Wednesday, alleged shooter Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, entered the Stay family's suburban Houston home posing as a delivery man, police said. Haskell was searching for his former wife, the sister of Cassidy's mother. He shot and killed Cassidy's family, according to authorities, and is now being charged with capital murder.
The Stay family home in Spring, Texas.
A photograph, flowers and candles left on the Stay family's porch.
Cassidy, who survived the incident by pretending to be dead after being shot by the alleged gunman and has since made a full recovery, spoke outside Lemm Elementary School on Saturday, just three days after the shootings, Click2Houston reported.
"'Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light,'" Cassidy quoted from a "Harry Potter" novel, which she said she has drawn strength from, according to Click2Houston. "I know that my mom, dad, Bryan, Emily, Becca and Zach are in a much better place and that I'll be able to see them again one day."
Ribbons placed on trees near Lemm Elementary School in honor of the shooting.
More than 6,000 people from around the world have donated to Cassidy's fund as of Tuesday evening.
Jody Dellinger, who established the GoFundMe page alongside Sgt. George Beck -- a first responder to the Stay family's crime scene -- said he's been overwhelmed by the community's reaction.
"We had no idea that it would be the official site for the family," Dellinger told Community Impact News. "The outpouring just dumbfounds me when you have a tragedy like this."
If you'd like to donate to Cassidy, visit her GoFundMe page.
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