By Geena Martinez
ODESSA - It has been almost one week since a Houston family was gunned down in their home. The shooting left six people dead and only one teenage daughter survived.
A Monahans woman who knew that family is hoping west Texans will step up to help.
In a time of tragedy, Melanie Williams is hoping people here in the Basin will show some of that West Texas hospitality.
"They're a wonderful family, they're very tight knit, they're very close and we just want Cassidy to be taken care of," Williams said.
All eyes have been on Houston where Stephen and Katie Stay, along with four of their children, were tragically shot and killed by a relative. Their 15-year-old daughter Cassidy was the only survivor in the shooting.
For Williams, that news was even more devastating.
"We went to church with their family and her sister was our nanny while we lived in Houston," Williams said. "They were always in service of others."
Williams lived in Houston for five years before moving to Monahans.
She said she and her family shared a lot of memories with the Stay's.
Wanting to help from a distance, Williams organized a local fundraiser with the Odessa Chick-Fil-A to help the family during this tough time. A Go Fund Me account online has already raised more than $278,000.
"All of the funds that we raise is going to go to funeral costs," Williams said. "They have six people to bury. They are going to go towards care and treatment of Cassidy after this is all over and also for the family members."
Williams said her friends back in Houston are doing as best they can.
"They found great comfort, they attended church services yesterday (Sunday)," she said.
Williams hopes West Texans will open their hearts and their pocketbooks for a good cause.
"A lot of cost is going to go into this," Williams said. "We just want recovery for the family and we want Cassidy to be able to move on and to have a happy life."
The Chick-Fil-A fundraiser will be held Tuesday, July 15 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Make sure you mention the Stay family when you order and 20 percent of the proceeds will go toward the memorial fund.
You can also donate online at