Internet helps man with Down syndrome rebuild movie collection after losing everything in devastating wildfire

July 17, 2017 2:14 pm Last Updated: July 17, 2017 2:14 pm


On July 8, the Orsillo family lost their home in the Wall Fire, which burned in Butte County, California. The Orsillo’s home was one of 99 structures that were either damaged or considered a total loss due to the fire, which as of July 16 was 98 percent contained. Steve Orsillo, his wife, Vicki, and their son Mark, who has Down syndrome all lived in the home, which Steve built himself more than 25 years ago.

Before the fire engulfed their home, the family had roughly 20 minutes to collect their belongings—enough time to get the essentials, but not enough time to get everything.

One thing the family could not save was Mark’s collection of movies.

With a fire raging too close for comfort, the Orsillos were forced to evacuate, leaving behind many of their belongings.

(Source: Facebook/Danielle Devine)

When the family returned to their property, the scene was devastating. There was absolutely nothing left. Danielle Devine, Mark’s sister, who helped her brother and parents collect a few things before they evacuated, acknowledged that while it was a great loss, her family was doing surprisingly well. Although, she told PEOPLE that her brother was very upset over the loss of his movie collection.

“DVDs for Mark are everything,” Devine told PEOPLE. “He watches them, talks about them, collects them and organizes them, they’re his hobby.”

In an effort to help him cope with the loss and knowing how kind strangers on the Internet can be, Devine reached out to her friends on Facebook and asked for help.

In her post she wrote,

This is my brother Mark and he has Down Syndrome. He lost his house to the #wallfire on my parent’s property. He is an OCD movie collector and lost hundreds of movies. He spends most of his free time watching, organizing and talking about his movies. This is very hard for him. Would you help Derek and I do this small thing for him? Here are some ideas! They can definitely [be] used movies, he loves them all!

She also listed an address for people to send the DVDs to and listed a few TV shows and movies that Mark needed.

After the fire Mark’s sister took to the Internet in search of help to replace Mark’s movie collection.

(Source: Facebook/Mark on Life)

The response was massive. It didn’t take long for people to see Devine’s heartbreaking post about her brother and his movie collection, which had suddenly been reduced to only a handful of DVDs. Strangers from all over started to send DVDs of all kinds to Mark.

“I’m really happy,” Mark told KTXL.

According to PEOPLE, as of July 14, Mark has received 400 DVDs and Devine expects that number to continue to grow.

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, Mark now has more DVDs than he previously owned.

(Source: Facebook/Mark on Life)

Even though Mark was aware of Devine’s outreach and the inevitable packages that would arrive in the coming days with his name on them, his reaction to seeing all of the DVDs people sent him was extremely sweet.

“I’m in movie heaven!”

(Source: Facebook/Mark on Life)

According to PEOPLE, Devine appreciates all of the kindness people have shown towards her brother and wishes that people will do the same towards all of the other families who were also victims of the Wall Fire.