Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Loosing it all

I got a phone call in reference to a rental house I listed on Craigslist; a lady whose house just burned down the day or two before, family of 4, kids 5 & 11. Electrical fire, they lost everything.

"Kids 5 & 11? Do I know your kid?" Sure enough, in Molly's class last year, a very nice boy.

Well, about now my heart is breaking. Everyone was physically ok but they were in shock, depressed, dazed. I thought of my own kids going through this. How sad and vulnerable they must feel.

I just felt like I had to do something.

I had heard about how Vashon swings into action when there is a tragedy like this. I started making phone calls and talking to some island folk and was led to a gracious older woman who was a depository of information; food vouchers, furniture, Granny's chits, rental assistance.

Between the Redcross, local churches through their "Interfaith Council on Homelessness" Vashon Youth and Family Services, The Food bank and other groups. they are able to create a web of assistance, something to cushion the initial blow but almost more importantly longer support to pull your life together again.

It was pretty amazing to see and help start that ball rolling.

I have been thinking about home fires lately. A really fun blog I visit all the time is The Quirk Factor: Resistance is futile.

Her house burned down too. I felt the same heartbreak when I read her post. Everybody was ok physically but they lost it all too.

In my mind, I visualize a person like me who started calling so that her family could get connected to this web of assistance that is out there in all our communities.

We should all support it when we don't need it because it is there for us if we do.


Anonymous said...

I remeber when your brothers room caught on fire and how stress full it was for you and the family although small could have grown quickly. I grew up in a FireFighter based family and have seen many levels of home fires and the effects to the family as well as the suppoting neighborhoods. It shows how easily and quickly our lives are effected by somthing that is not planned . I am very proud how you stepped in and have assisted your Island Neighbor, I truly belive in the what goes around comes around so if at some time you are in need your fellow neighbors will step up for you.
Keep up the good fight :)

holly said...

I agree. Actually someone in our neighborhood lost their home to a fast burning fire (the woman/mom make candles and had some of the flamable "stuff" located in the basement too close to the furnace) anyway, the entire neighborhood started a fund for them until they could rebuild. Very nice!!

Shea's Mom said...

Thanks guys! Hey yeah, I remember that electrical fire in my brother's room - he had moved out by then. The alarm went off at about 6:00 AM and I was only kid around for some wierd reason. I saw the fire and without thinking just smothered it out with whatever I could grab. It was all done sort of reflex.

Lucky. We were very lucky that day.

mommy~dearest said...

Yes, it truly is a devistating experience- but to see how communities can pull together and help, is also amazing.

Future tip? The Red Cross is very limited. They offered to give us food and shelter for 24 hours. Yep- that's it. I was pretty disappointed in them.

Thanks for linking to my blog and story.

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