Help Rosie's Family

The Saarela family lost their home in Otsego, MN to a fire on December 16th.  They literally got out of the house with only the clothes on their backs.  Two of their three children were at school at the time.  They had to come home to find their home burnt to the ground along with all of their belongings.  They are so thankful to have gotten out of the house with their 2 dogs just in time.  Unfortunately, their oldest daughter's young cat and their son's snake didn't make it out.  

I met the Saarela Family by chance on Monday, January 6th.  I saw a dog just a block from my home in Brooklyn Park. I was able to find a post for their dog on the "Next Door" app.  The community of Brooklyn Park and the surrounding communities would soon learn about Rosie, the dog.  That is a story within itself. 

Let me back up just a bit to tell you more about this family.  Matt & Catrina have raised 3 beautiful children together, Martina (17 yo), Matt Jr. (15 yo) and Jazmyn (13 yo).  The love they have for each other and their family is so strong; I witnessed it the moment I met them.  Matt & Catrina have taught their children to work for what they have and to give to others in need by "paying it forward".   Just a week before their house fire, Martina helped at the Mana Market Food Pantry in Fridley.  Unfortunately, life has been tough for this family even before the fire this past December.  About 10+ years ago, Matt discovered that he had a degenerative disease in his eyes called Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). It's an inherited form of vision loss with no cure.  He had a successful construction business but had walk away due to his deteriorating eye sight.  He receives disability income, as he is legally blind.  He truly misses this line of work but feels blessed to have the skills he has acquired from working in the business for so many years.  In fact, these skills have come in handy as they are doing all the clean up themselves and will be helping to rebuild their home.   To make things even tougher than losing their home and 3 cars to a fire, is the fact that they only had insurance coverage on the structure of their home.  They weren't properly informed about covering their belongings separately.  Most people would give up if they had this many "strikes" against them.  Not this family.  They have rallied together and chosen to be positive and thankful for the many blessings they have.  They have shared with me that going through something like this sheds a new light on what is important in this lifetime; faith, family & community.  Faith "it does not make things easy, it makes them possible" (Luke 1:37). They know they will all be stronger because of this. Back to Rosie, the dog.  Have you ever felt like you were in the right place at the right time?  Well, I don't believe in coincidences, I believe God plans our paths to cross at the right time for the right reason.  When I saw this dog all alone & out in the cold, I knew I had to do something.  It was at that very moment that I felt a tugging on my heart that wouldn't let me walk away even if I wanted to.  If you live in Brooklyn Park or one of the surrounding communities, you most likely have heard about Rosie, the dog.  She has brought a community together; one that has been praying for her.  Praying for a safe return to a family that has lost so much. Praying for a miracle. #BringRosieHome❤️


  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 27 d
  • Cindy Harder 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 1 mo
  • Roanne Richardson 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
See all

Fundraising team: Rosie’s Family (3)

Robyn Jacobson 
Raised $405 from 7 donations
Minneapolis, MN
Catrina Saarela 
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