Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Kids need school supplies when a family has a fire

I will never forget when fire struck close friends of a church family. The kids had come to our youth group. Most of the people in the community knew them. We were shocked and sad for them. At the same time we were grateful that they all got out ok.

The family lost everything they owned. What wasn't damaged by fire was damaged by water or smoke. They tried their best to cleanup smoke and fire damage but it wasn't enough to save many of their belongings.

Community members collected things for the family. Then one of our youth pointed out a huge need that we adults overlooked. The kids needed school supplies. Their backpacks and textbooks were lost in the fire and would need to be replaced.

Jackets and clothes for school were relatively easy to replace. The family received a combination of new and used clothing.

New textbooks were worked out through the school. We made a run to the store to buy backpacks, dictionaries, paper and other school supplies. It was surprising how much paper, pencils and books wind up to costing.

We were all glad when the school decided not to charge the family for the lost textbooks. We were homeschooling one of our daughters at the time. Because of that we had an idea of how expensive those books might have been. I can't imagine what they would have cost if the family had been made to pay for them.

Pretty soon, the kids were back in school and seemed to have come to terms with the house fire. It was bad but not as bad as it could have been. The family was able to rebuild both their lives and their home. They did so with the reassurance than an entire community cared about them. It's hard to ask for more than that.