Family rebuilds with J.J. Watt's help after losing everything in house fire

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Jordan McDonald was J.J. Watt's personal guest at Saturday's Charity Classic event.

Today, Alvin High School sophomore Jordan McDonald had to update her class project paper.

She and her family have been through a lot since February, when their home burned to the ground, with no insurance to ease the loss.

Among the items lost in the fire: a pair of tickets to JJ Watt's Charity Classic. Jordan's mother, Jackie saved long and hard for the $120 to get her daughter and her to Saturday's game.

A social media post about the family's plight got #99's attention. Saturday, the family got to go to the game, and Jordan was able to hit a ball pitched by Brian Cushing.

She made it to first base, and she also had something to write about for her class paper.

"I wrote that by reaching out, he changed my life. I want to help people like JJ does," she said. "He changed my mind and my perspective and a different side of life. I may not have a lot of money, but I can change people's lives where I am now."

She's already changing her family. When she graduates from high school, she's been promised a full scholarship to TSU, where she's play softball. Other universities were interested, but Jordan wants to stay close to home.

She'll be the first in her family to go to college.

She's one of three children adopted by Jackie and Jay McDonald. The former industrial worker was paralyzed in an accident 30 years ago.

"You have to keep going for the kids," he said. "Even now, I still catch for Jordan at practice."

The fire has separated part of the family. Jordan and the McDonald's 3 grandchildren are living with Jay's mother in Alvin until there's money to rebuild. Their two sons, both in their early 20s, recently found an apartment.

Jackie McDonald helps support her family by cleaning houses.

The softball community set up a account. Of the $55,000 goal that was set, however, far less has been raised.

Donated building materials for a "barn-dominium" will arrive at the site of the fire tomorrow, but a foundation still needs to be laid, and that's estimated to cost $14,000.

It's a challenge, but the family is optimistic. The school softball program plans another fund-raiser after playoffs. And Jordan is on the team.

The YouCaring account is under the name "Jackie McDonald."
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