Community comes together quickly to help fire victims
STEVE SHINKO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Firefighters from American Hose Company No. 1 in Tamaqua work to hook up another line to battle a blaze at 226 Washington St. Wednesday afternoon in the borough.
Many local and regional organizations came together in only a matter of hours to help the large family displaced by the fire Wednesday on Washington Street in Tamaqua.
The Schuylkill and Eastern Northumberland Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Tamaqua Salvation Army are both assisting the family.
The Schuylkill Emergency Communications Dispatch Center, ACCESS services, and the Tamaqua, Coaldale, West Penn, and St. Clair police departments have also banded together to help the eight children of this fire by collecting hundreds of same-day toys and over $500 in monetary donations.
Members and volunteers from Schuylkill Communications Dispatch Center, police departments, and other emergency organizations also organized a same-day toy wrapping event at the St. Clair Ambulance Building late Wednesday night to handle all the gifts they collected.
Marines from the Marine Corps Reserve Unit in Reading also hand delivered Toys For Tots and eight pairs of children's winter boots for the family.
Ed Quirin, of the Minersville Marine Corps League Coal Cracker Detachment Toys For Tots, also donated new toys to the police departments' toy campaign for the family.
Officer John Morgan, ex-Frackville police chief and current part-time officer in Tamaqua, donated furniture to the families via the police departments' assistance drive for the families.
Jeff Reigel of Reigel Fuel Oil LLC in Tamaqua donated 100 gallons of fuel oil to the new location where the family is currently staying.
The Tamaqua Salvation Army Corps is taking donations for the family. Monetary donations, no matter how small, can be dropped-off or mailed to the Tamaqua Salvation Army, 105 West Broad St., Tamaqua PA 18252. Put "Dec. 23, 2009 Fire Victims" in the comment line. For ages and clothing sizes of all the children, visit TamaquaArea.com/HelpFireVictims.
The St. John United Church of Christ, 150 Pine St., Tamaqua, will hold a Christmas Eve toy and clothing drive to benefit the Tamaqua fire victims from 8 a.m. to noon.
Hometown Wal-Mart also donated a $250 gift card to give to the fire victims.
Many community organizations have come together as one to help the family, but much more is still needed as the family has lost almost all its household belongings in the fire. Contact volunteer Andrew Leibenguth anytime at (570) 668-1234 to donate furniture, beds, and appliances, or for more ways to help the family.