Thousands raised for East Texas infant - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Thousands raised for East Texas infant

T-shirts for sale, benefiting Maxwell family T-shirts for sale, benefiting Maxwell family

More than 100 residents came out Sunday in support of an Overton baby, just released from the hospital on Friday after recovering from open-heart surgery.

Friends and family of little Kensi Maxwell hosted a barbeque fundraiser to help cover some of the family's medical costs.

"They chose this day not knowing that we were going to be home or anything," Kensi's mother Natalie Maxwell said. "So it's actually a celebration of us getting to come home too."

"My husband and I, he's the cook, not me," said Natalie's sister Melinda Luis. "He can barbeque, so we borrowed the pit you see back here. He has vendors from the Longview/Kilgore area and they donated all the goods, all the food. Everything was donated, so it produced all of this."

This being hundreds of friends, family and even strangers, lining up and pitching in—buying lunch, wristbands and t-shirts all while little Kensi rested snugly inside.

"It is amazing," Luis said. "I never in a million years thought that we would have this big of a turnout. We are truly blessed with people we know and don't know."

Residents that attended said it was a no-brainer.

"It broke my heart," Katrina Keith said. "We all just decided to come out to support it."

"My first grand baby only weighed 1 1/2 pounds and was in the hospital for 6 months," said Joy Beggs. "So I knew the problems and the expense."

"I had a son that was stillborn and this church was a big help to me to me at that time, so I wanted to give back and give Natalie support," said Kay Castaneda.

It was an outpouring of generosity Maxwell called overwhelming.

"Our little small town, they just showed us support this whole time," Maxwell said, tearing up. "Through Facebook, through text messages, calls, it's amazing to see that they would want to do this for us."

The family said at last count, the barbeque fundraiser brought in nearly $5,500, adding that most of that came from generous donors pitching in on top of the cost of lunch.

If you are interested in purchasing a t-shirt or bracelet, there are still some available through Maxwell's sister, Angela Holleman. For more information, email Angela:

If you would prefer to donate, a fundraising website has also been set up here.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly