CHICAGO (CBS) —  A suburban family is taking the money they were going to spend on each other this Christmas and using it to help another family.

They planned a  shopping spree for a mom and her kids who lost everything when their apartment went up in flames earlier this month. On Thursday morning, that mom said she’s counting her blessings.

“It’s been a rough couple of weeks to lose practically everything and my baby is five months old,” said Leah McCaskill. “It’s been kind of rough. But to have individuals like the Howard family to support us during this time, I’m just very grateful. I just thank god for all the blessings.”

McCaskill walked into the Walmart in Chatham with Christmas angel Sean Howard of Blue Island. On December 4, a kitchen fire broke out in Leah’s apartment building in Richton Park.

No one was hurt, but Leah’s family and many others were left homeless right before the holidays. Howard’s family arranged for a $1,500 Walmart shopping spree. And that’s not all.

“We just wanted to bless you with an additional $500 dollars from the Howard family,” said Joi Pippins-Howard. “I’m a mother of two. I can imagine what you’re going through.” The Village of Richton Park helped Howard select the family. The family found another apartment, but cannot move in until after January 15.

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