VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Two fundraising efforts to support a Virginia Beach teacher injured in a house fire surpassed $14,000, as of Monday night.
Jay Lane, a teacher at First Colonial High School, was injured after escaping the blaze. Unfortunately, his parents didn’t make it out of the home alive, according to WRIC-TV.
Firefighters say they found Lane and his son in the yard early New Year’s Eve morning after they jumped from a second-story window to escape. Former students say Lane broke his back and now requires surgery.
It is inside the halls of First Colonial High School where students say Lane changed their lives for the better.
“He’s very funny. There’s never a dull moment with him. He’ll always be there,” said sophomore Bailey Fifield.
Fifield and fellow sophomore Brooke Coppola say Lane was their math teacher freshman year, but he continues to support them.
Now, they’re reversing roles by assisting the man who’s always been there for them.
“It’s our turn to help him,” said Coppola.
Lane is currently at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center recovering from injuries.
When his students found out, they decided to create a GoFundMe account Sunday night to help cover medical costs.
One day later, they’ve raised more than $8,000.
“We didn’t think it would get this much publicity as it has,” said Fifield.
Another page was started by one of Lane’s close friends, Aaron Rouse, who’s been in Richmond since the fire.
“It doesn’t matter if I have to come up here everyday for a year, this is how much he has meant to my life and so many others,” Rouse said.
Rouse says he first met Lane when he was a student at Lynnhaven Middle School and continued to be mentored by Lane throughout his life.
He says now is the time for the community to give back to the man who has helped not only him, but so many others.
Rouse’s GoFundMe page has raised more than $6,000 dollars.
He says if you do not want to give financially, you can also send Lane well wishes through cards.
“Just let Jay know if you’re thinking about him and wishing him well,” Rouse said.
Fifield and Coppola say you can drop off cards at First Colonial High School until Friday morning.