Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Neighbor in Need

This message will be updated as we receive additional information. Please spread the word.

Update: Some local contractors have generously contacted me to help and the family is overwhelmed with appreciation. We can be proud to live in such a warm and caring community. If you can help with rebuilding the home or would like to assist in any other way, please contact me at PTOParent@aol.com. As for those who have already given, on behalf of the family, words cannot express our thanks.
Kathy Gentile, Co-President

A group of neighbors has been making phone calls on behalf a local family that was left devastated by a fire to their home today. This wonderful family of five lives in the "F" section of Aberdeen and three children attend schools in our community (Strathmore and MAMS). Assistance and outreach have already begun, with the Red Cross providing shelter in a local hotel and Mr. Lalor, a neighbor and volunteer leader with St Vincent De Paul society offering his experience and contacts for immediate assistance.

This family has both short term and long term needs and this e-mail is being sent so that members of the community, that want to provide some type of assistance, can do so.

As one of the Co-president's of the MAMS PTSO, I will help coordinate donations, channeled through our school. The family has two twin boys in kindergarten in Strathmore and a daughter in sixth grade in MAMS. Warm clothing (jackets, jeans, shirts, pajamas, etc.) is needed; the boys wear a toddler 5/6 and the daughter wears a junior size small or medium.

Other thoughtful donations could be gift cards to local stores, including Kohls, Costco, grocery stores, drug stores, etc. I checked with Costco today, and the family will be able to use Costco gift cards (without the need for membership). I have asked Costco for a donation and need to follow up on Wednesday.

Via this email, I will ask Mrs. Olsen if we can send donations up to MAMS and I would like to collect all donations no later than Friday afternoon (12/12) and bring them to Mr. Lalor for his handling and distribution.

Although the fire to the home was devastating, the bright spot is that no one was hurt or injured in the fire. This is a blessing as we can replace possessions...the people we love, and care about, are not. At this holiday time of year, please remember to include this family in your thoughts and prayers and any assistance you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Please forward this message to other friends and neighbors (that may want to offer assistance) and thank you for your generous spirit.

Kathy Gentile, Co-President
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Anonymous said...

Just to clarify people were hurt in the fire. Two firemen were sent to the hospital and have since been released.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure no disrespect was meant in leaving out the brave fire fighters who worked on the house.

Glad no one seems to have been seriously injured.

I hope the community is able to pull together for this family and help them out, especially with it being winter and the holiday season. Their loss must be very traumatic for them.

Anonymous said...

As I wrote the e-mail, my initial reaction was how traumatic for the family, especially the children...and I wanted to let everyone know that the home was unoccupied at the time of the fire and that the family was safe. Now that I have had a chance to think in broader terms, I will take this opportunity to thank the brave emergency repsonders that worked to put out the fire. And, I am sad to hear that two firefighters suffered injuries, but grateful to know that they are home and on the mend. The response, so far, has been wonderful. Both the Strathmore and MAMS PTOs are working to collect donations for this lovely family and monetary donations and gift cards can be brought to either school. I will be accepting limited clothing donations on Friday, Decemeber 12th as the family does not have the room to store much (while they are living in a motel). As they get settled in more appropriate accomodations, we can re-group and determine if the family could use additional clothing. As a proud memeber of this community, I thank all those that have expressed a desire to help and I am thankful for the overwhelming response. Best wishes to all during the upcoming holiday season.
Kathy Gentile, MAMS PTSO parent volunteer