MILTON — Crystal Williams and Amanda Smith met through their children, but their friendship has grown into a strong bond that has kept them positive through tough times.

Approximately two years ago, Smith was looking for more players to join her child’s football team in Pace. That’s when she found Makael Williams and his friends playing football in the street in their Milton neighborhood, and Makael was eager to join the team.

Smith soon learned about a series of circumstances that left the Williams family facing hard times. The Smith and Williams families were soon inseparable.

Tragedy struck in late November when Makael was seriously injured at his home.

“We had a burn barrel in the yard and it was lit,” Williams said. “Makael was sitting in a chair around the barrel, one of the folding chairs, and as he was trying to get up his foot got stuck behind one of the legs and he fell face-first into the burn barrel.”

Makael was transported to the West Florida Hospital in Pensacola by ambulance with his father, but Williams said her car wasn’t dependable enough to make the drive so Smith agreed to transport her.

When Makael was transferred to the USA Burn Center in Mobile, Smith drove her and stayed with the family through the night.

“I don’t know where to begin,” Williams said. “[Amanda] is lovable, kind, sweet-hearted; she’s just an angel … She goes above and beyond for my family.”

Makael's injuries are quickly healing, according to Williams. She said Smith even purchased special cream for Makael’s burns to help them heal.

“When bad things happen to kids, they kind of lose their personality … but he didn’t,” Williams said. “[Smith] always helps us keep his confidence up.”

“She’s just nonstop … I love her, and I’m glad she came into my life right when I lost my mom.”

Smith started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Makael’s medical costs and to help the family with household bills. The campaign has raised $1,455 as of this writing, and Smith purchased the Williams children Christmas gifts.

“It was never even a thought,” Smith said. “God blesses us with the capability to help some, and it just felt right.”

Visit to donate to Smith’s fund for the Williams family.