Florida elementary school students are doing all they can to raise money for their school resource officer whose home was destroyed in a fire.
SRO Josh Rotarius, an 8-year veteran with the Maitland Police Department, was sleeping when his home was struck by lightning and caught on fire. Luckily, Rotarius’ dog, Null, woke him up, and they were able to flee to safety.
During the escape, the officer sustained burns to his body and suffered from severe smoke inhalation. He was then airlifted to ORMC and treated for his injuries.
However, the house was severely damaged in the fire, and Rotarius lost all of his belongings.
Now, the community is doing all they can to help Rotarius, who works as an SRO at the local elementary school, to heal from his injuries and rebuild his life.
Elementary school student Maddie Moore, 7, and her friends set up a lemonade stand to raise money for Rotarius.
The girls raised $350 in cash and $450 for his GoFundMe page, which was set up by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. They then bought a dog bed, doggie daycare passes and treats for Null with the cash they made.
Rotarius was grateful for all the help, even though, as a police officer, he may not be used to it.
“You don’t know how much people care about you until something like this happens. And then a lot of people, even little kids, do something like this to help out, help Null out, it’s amazing,” Rotarius said.
Rotarius decided to become an SRO precisely because of his love for the community. He also serves on the department’s SWAT team.
“You see a lot of things that are really hard. And you’re usually there to try to fix something. So when it’s other people helping you, you don’t know how to take it at first, but it definitely makes you think you’re doing a good job,” Rotarius said.