What can I do for victims of a house fire? Advice??

posted 3 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX

Gift cards. They need the essentials! When my coworker’s house burned down we made her a gift card basket with $50 to $100 gift cards to Target, Walmart, Ikea, CVS and some restaurants since they obviously don’t have a kitchen to cook in. I would doing something like this, especially if you don’t know them super well. This way they can get the things they need.

Post # 4
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@lalalyanne:  #1 would be to donate clothes, especially warm clothing and shoes for the kids because they lost it all in the fire.

Post # 6
Member
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@lalalyanne:  it is very thoughtful of you to want to help!  I went through this experience with my brother and it was probably the worst experience we’ve ever had. it was so emotional. 

One thing to do is to help get essentials together for the family – see if they need clothing, toiletries, shoes, etc.  It sounds like they will of course, but maybe just check with someone in the loop to make sure you aren’t duplicating things, etc. when money could go elsewhere.  Cooking food is always a popular choice, as it lets people know you are thinking of them without being ‘intrusive’ if you know what I mean.  Maybe some toys and school supplies for the kids, as I’m sure they just lost everything. 🙁  

Never underestimate the power of just letting people know how sorry you are for their loss.  Some well meaning people tried to frame it by telling us that we were so lucky (as a family) that everyone got out alive – and OF COURSE this is true!  But there has been loss here and I don’t think it helps to diminish that.  

You are a great neighbour and friend! 🙂 

Post # 7
Member
1616 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I second the gift cards. Two years ago my aunt and uncle’s house caught fire (not a total loss, thank God!) and they said the gift cards helped a ton. I would also get a little something for the kids. 

Post # 8
Member
1327 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

That’s so sad. I would think right now they would appreciate help with immeditate needs; places to stay, home cooked meals, offers to watch the kids, donations of or gift certificates for essentials like clothes, toiletries, etc. I’ve never been through this myself, but I imagine they’ll be busy dealing with everything so they might not have time to run to the store or handle everything; offers of time like babysitting and meals might be really helpful for them.

Post # 9
Member
641 posts
Busy bee

I used to work at a toy store, and I talked with a family that was under similar circumstance. While the family was very practical is what they were looking for, the thing that the 7 year old missed most was his favorite toy (In this case, playing with LEGO, which is unfortunately pretty expensive to collect, and the sets are only made for a short window of time.)

I’d say the geasture of finding out what the kids used to enjoy playing with and doing the footwork of tracking it down in a store or online would do a LOT towards making them feel better. If I was a kid, I would NEED socks, sure, but what I would miss would be my sketchbooks and my comic books. Those where the items I got pride and enjoyment out of, and those would be the objects I would have mourned the loss of.

 

Post # 10
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

+1 on clothing and gift cards!

Post # 11
Member
1249 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I wouldn’t donate clothing or essentials. My college roommate’s house burned down less than a month ago. She said people would have the best of intentions with clothing and such, but the majority of donations she couldn’t use.

According to her, the BEST thing she received were gift cards or direct phone calls asking what she needed.

Post # 12
Member
5839 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I totally agree with @kimmo416: . I think gift cards to help them immediately like restaurants and later on like Target, Ikea are a great idea!

Post # 13
Member
32 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I went through this as a teenager and I will add to the gift cards chorus. I had literally just the gym outfit I was wearing when it happened and it was just weird and sad to wear friend’s clothes the first week or so after. Being able to wear something that felt mine again was a huge comfort. Hope your neighbor’s insurance steps up quickly and gets them settled.

Post # 15
Member
228 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Backyard

I would donate clothing – especially things like underwear and socks! Maybe a box of laundry detergent – they will feel good being able to take care of their donations while they stay at your friends house.

I would also donate some dog food and dog bowls! And gift cards. Lots and lots of gift cards.

 

You are kind to want to help. Sending prayers your way!

Post # 16
Member
3941 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@lalalyanne:   We knew a family who lost their home to a house fire and we sent an LLBean gift card.   We figured that LLBean had pretty much anything they might need in terms of clothes, shoes, whatever.  

I can’t imagine how horrible that would be.  

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