WESTFIELD, NJ — On Thursday, soon after they heard that Deborah Osment and her son had lost their rental home and nearly all of their belongs in a fire early that morning, friends Susan Cook and Lois Walter got to work setting up a YouCaring.com fundraising site to help them get back on their feet.

Osment, a single mom, and her son are well known within the community — Deborah is a waitress at Chrone’s in Mountainside and her son is a student at Westfield High School. For now, the Red Cross has provided them with a motel room until Sunday.

“She’s really hoping to get into a rental as soon as possible,”Cook said.

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Cook and Walter created the YouCaring site with a modest goal of $5,000 for the Osments to use for fees associated with getting a new lease (“security deposit and first month’s rent, etc.”) but quickly increased the goal to $10,000 after several hundred people shared the link via Facebook and donated.

What they don’t need for housing may be used to replace clothes and other belongings, according to Cook.

“It's hard to imagine just how much money she will need, but this is a great start,” Cook wrote on the site Friday morning.  “Thank you all for your generosity towards this family.”

To donate, click here.