3 weeks ago a young family came home from a visit to family members and found fire trucks blocking their road. As they made their way up the street, they realized it was their home that had burnt down to the ground.
This family lives in the Poconos. I have met them. The Dad, Tom, works in Manhattan as an elevator inspector repair man. Rides by bus almost 2 hours each way every day. The Mom, Kathy, works at home with 5 children, ages 12, 8, 6,4, and 5 months.
They were renting and had no renter’s insurance – NO fire insurance! Tom told me that he can meet their day to day expenses but with 5 kids, they have no savings. They found a home not too far from the house that burned for the same rent.
The community held a clothing drive and household supplies right away. The Red Cross gave them money to get the staples for their pantry. Family and friends have provided a bed for the parents and 3 twin beds for the 4 children. My daughter and I gave them a crib and dressing table for the baby. Karen also sent them bags of clean almost new baby clothes.
Here’s how this breaks down: One boy is sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag. The kids bedrooms have nothing in them. They need stuff.
I did some shopping around and gathered the approx. cost of giving these kids some sense of life back. Dressers cost about $130 each and they need 5. Bed, with mattress and box spring, about $300. Here’s the rest:
night tables with lamps about $30
bookshelves – need 4, about $40 each
sheet sets – or bed in a bag – $30 to $50. they need 4
I think each person, including the parents, should have NEW pillows – $ 105 for 7
waste baskets and hampers for each child – $100
For approx $250 per child per bedroom – with your help – we can help to restore some order to the lives of 5 beautiful children who did nothing to deserve having their lives all but wiped out.
In my lifetime, I have known 2 families to loose everything to the devastation of a house fire. In both cases, no children lived there and the family had insurance. Of course, you can’t “rebuild” the lost possessions of love and family. But, once settled, both families went on to live normal lives. Having some financial help from insurance gave those two families a foundation on which to rebuild. I know that it was not easy for either but they managed with the goodness of friends and family and the love of God!
Imagine if in a blink of an eye, everything you have is gone. Now imagine how that must feel to a 12 year boy. Mario struggles every day to help with family chores, and get over the shock of loosing those possessions he treasured: his bed, his alarm clock, his socks, his favorite baseball jersey. his favorite games, his favorite everything!
Branden , age 8 and Matthew, age 6, are not old enough to really understand what has happened. They just know that now they live somewhere else and their rooms are empty where once they had clothes, books, furniture, and stuff.
Niamya is just 4 years old. She is probably the most confused. Every day she asks for her dolls, books, toys, teddy bears, pretty dresses and a place to sit and eat breakfast.
Yes, the day I was there, they did not have a table and chairs. They have since had one donated but with only 4 chairs. Better than nothing and they are very appreciative.
So here’s my plan: If you would just send me a gift card to Wal-mart or K-mart, a check or cash in any denomination, I will buy the “stuff” these kids need.
First, I will start with their bedrooms – new pillows very important.
Second: window blinds, shades or curtains.
Third: books, games, stuffed animals, sports equipment for the boys, and a doll or two for Niamya.
Fourth: art and school supplies, book bags
If I should get enough money, I would buy NEW school clothes for Mario. At 12 he can’t start school wearing someone elses clothes and shoes.
This family lives on the top of Mt. Pocono and it gets very cold up there. They will need blankets and comforters, coats and hats, and boots and gloves!
YES – I am asking for you to reach down and help this family. I give you my word and my personal guarantee that whatever money is sent to me, will be spent exactly as I have outlined in this email.
Time is of the essence! Fred and I will be returning to the Poconos on the 6th of August – that gives you about a week to get your donation to me.
Please – if I can collect just $500 per child, we can make a real difference. They can start school with new book bags, and some new clothes.
For those of you who know me, if I had the resources, I’d do this myself! I don’t. I need your help.
You know where I live. If I’m not home, please leave your donation in the milk box by the front door. My address: P.O. box 100, Berwyn,PA 19312
My phone: 610-975-9297 Cell: 610-908-5854
Please print this email and share it with your families, friends, neighbors, church and social groups, business groups and who ever else is out there.
May the wind be at your back and the love of God be in your heart!
Pearl and Fred