ST. PAUL, Minn. – The tree that crashed into the duplex on McAfee Street on Sunday pulled the financial rug out from under a family that lived there.
The family is homeless at the moment and relying on the kindness of a local church.
A saving grace for single mom Sarah Beto is that her daughter, Serenity, 6 months, is living up to her name. The child is smilingly undisturbed by the events that have shaken her mother and brother.
"When I heard the big bang, I though it was an earthquake because the whole house moved," said Xavier, 11.
The sixth grader at Farnsworth Aerospace School in St. Paul had a large chunk of the old tree outside his bedroom window come crashing into his room.
"I was going to go in there and play my game," recalled Xavier. "So, I am glad I just stayed in my mom's room."
"I understand that everything in his room is completely destroyed," said Beto.
Xavier missed a whole week of school and two of his baseball games. Almost all of Xavier's clothes were lost. Sarah Beto's vehicle was also damaged in the storm and is unusable.
"If I would not have gotten in (to work on Friday) morning. I would have lost my job," said Beto.
She works two jobs to make ends meet and provide day care for Serenity.
Beto said she does not have renter's insurance and none of the damage to the house will be covered. Since, the damage to the entire house was so severe, it has been declared unlivable. Beto understands it will be about 60 days before the house will be available to her family again.
Most of her family lives too far away, in other states, to help. Only a cousin is in the Twin Cities. Mallory Tinajero started a fundraiser for Sarah and the children through GiveForward.com.
The Red Cross set up Sarah and the children in the Kelly Inn in St. Paul for three days. Then, St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi arranged for a room at the Super 8 Motel in St. Paul for a week. After that, Sarah is not sure what to do.
"I just found out that I have to get all of my stuff out and put it in storage until we can go back (to the McAfee street address)," said Beto.
Through it all, Sarah Beto clutches her children to her and is grateful they were not harmed, at least, not physically. Xavier admits it will be hard to sleep in his bedroom again.