If any of you have been through such a devasting event and might remember what help from neighbors was most useful, I'd love to hear what that was. Thanks!
Been through this twice with people I know, once with my good friend and once my with my dad's house. Both times, they lost all but the clothes they were wearing.
A big thing once they both resettled was gift certificates to places like Target, Wal-Mart, the local mall, local grocery stores, etc to replace everthing. Wherever you know they frequently shopped.
My friend was a huge picture taker, so her church took donations and bought my her a new digital camera - to make new memories they said since she lost everything.
With my dad, we got all the family to get photos together and made them a couple of new photo albums. Dad always said that those personal things were what he missed the most.
A lot of people also cooked meals for them, taking turns, because even once resettled, you're so out of whack with what "normal" used to be that cooking was the last thing on their minds.
I will keep them in my prayers.
I had plenty anyway and that saved them the cost...
I think I gave them a lamp too.
We had a person coordinating what was being donated to them so that they didn't end up with all dishes or something.
They had lost their pet guinea pig and I remember some of us pitched in to buy another one and cage and all...
Athena when my house burned down in '96 I was able to go to the local Red Cross and they gave me money for the 1st months rent at a new apartment.
Hope that helps.
My house flooded twice and do understand the devistation. The best thing that was given to us was gift certificates, then we could get what we needed. Also, one friend brought over a fruit basket with other goodies in it and we loved that too.
How horrible for your neighbor. I hope they have good insurance.
When I got home from work, I walked across the street and talked with a number of folks. There was already a fire recovery company's truck in the driveway and folks working. The family is in a local hotel for now. The gift card idea is an excellent one; another family and I talked about collecting money, and now what I have to work out is how. I've called Target, and it looks as though they will not accept a stack o' checks from various people to pay for the gift card. (I don't know how many people would want to hand over a wad of cash to a neighbor!)
I'll check with local banks in the morning to see about them accepting checks, and if that doesn't work, I'll check with my credit union.
The fire started in the breaker box, which happened in my house, too, before I bought it (with, fortunately, little damage), and in at least one other on this street. Perhaps a notice to our community newsletter to perhaps remind people that this happens and to get their breaker boxes checked is in order!
The people whose house was burned are staying in a nearby hotel for now. I didn't see them yesterday, but then, I wasn't around a whole lot, either.
I've talked with my credit union about opening an account for checks, and they are fine with that. My husband wrote, printed, and distributed letters yesterday to the people on our street letting them know we're collecting, and almost immediately, a neighbor dropped of a large check. I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I first saw it. So that gets this fund off to an excellent start! I'm hoping to collect through the weekend, let checks clear, and then purchase a Visa gift card with whatever funds there are.
My 13-year-old has given two weeks' allowance to the fund. I'm delighted to take his donation! :-)