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Folsom Facebook Community Helps Orangevale Family in Time of Tragedy

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FOLSOM -- When word spread that the rushing waters of the American River swept away Michael Powell Monday—the Folsom Facebook community responded with kind words online. When the heart-breaking news came that the 14-year-old’s body was found they decided to do more than pray.

"We have to be able to do something as a community lets go and try to find this person," said Folsom resident Sara Zamani.

Zamani, who knew only of the story from what Folsom residents following news sources shared online went looking for Michael’s family taking a box of pastries covered in well wishes and offer of a community’s help

"I put down my contact info on a box and said we’d like to set up a meal train and help you in any way we can," said Zamani.

Michael’s family is taking them up on that. They describe the 14-year-old as a gentle giant who loved sports. He was their only boy, and the youngest in the family. His grandmother and aunt tell FOX40 when he died, they didn’t know where to start when it came to arrangements.

"They said we don’t know what the story is but we want to give him a good proper burial and we might have a car wash in the neighborhood, I said you don’t have to have a car wash if anyone’s going to have a car wash we’ll do it for you," said Zamani.

So Zamani and the Folsom Facebook Community have stepped in starting a “You Caring Fundraising Site” and a bank account to help pay for funeral expenses. They also found a funeral home to offer discounted services and have been delivering food to Michael's family. It’s the kind of heartwarming pulling together you see in tight knit communities, people taking care of their own. But no one seems to mind that Michael’s Orangevale family technically isn’t part of their Folsom community.

"All people are our people, Folsom, Orangevale, the world. This is a family that is hurting greatly and all our hearts went out to them," said Zamani.

Michael's family tells FOX40 they are still in awe that the group would spend so much time, energy and money helping strangers. They said they are hurting deeply from the loss of a great love, but the love they are getting from the community is going a long way to fill that hole.

The community is still asking for donations to help pay for the funeral of Michael Powell. They have set up an online donation site.