Donations roll in for fire victims
Special to The R-C
To make a monetary donation, visit www.valleycf.org, click on giving and select special offering, or drop by Valley Christian Fellowship at 1352 Highway 395, Suite 109 in Gardnerville.
Tears welled up in Hayley Tobin’s eyes as Pastor Leo Kruger handed her a check and a grocery gift card to help get her family back on their feet following the June 14 apartment fire on Lampe Drive in Gardnerville.
“I was doing so good with not crying today,” 24-year-old Tobin said Saturday. “It’s amazing that people are so willing to help. I feel more supported than I think I have ever felt in my life. My job has been supportive, and people have brought me clothes for work. Everybody has donated so much.”
Tobin and her two children, Tinzley and Tatum, have been staying in a motel since the fire destroyed everything they owned minus a dining room table, bed frames, television and family photographs.
According to East Fork Fire Protection District Capt. Terry Taylor, the last time this many people were displaced due to a fire in the Valley was more than 30 years ago following the East Fork Hotel fire.
Taylor also said that right now, money is the best gift the community can give the fire victims.
And, to put his money where his mouth is, members of East Fork Fire Protection District raised $3,000 for the fire victims.
“From a recovery standpoint, it’s more effective to hand a responsible person money to spend in a way that most immediately benefits their recovery,” he said. “These folks are deserving. They need help, they need cash to find a place to live, and we as a community need to step up to the plate.”
In the past, the fire district used money from its fire fighter burn fund to help victims, however, due to the Lampe Drive apartment fire being the third in 18 months, the fund is depleted.
“This may be the first time we’ve asked the public to help,” Taylor said. “To get them back on track, we basically need $20,000. That would give them money for deposits and moving cash.”
Taylor also said the lack of rental housing in the Valley could force some families to have to move out of the area.
Tobin is one of the lucky ones who was able to find an apartment to rent in the Gardnerville Ranchos. She moves in July 15.
“I can’t wait to get into our new place and start over,” she added. “As hard as it is, I know it will make me stronger.”
Living Word Fellowship provided a spaghetti dinner to the families at Valley Christian Fellowship on Saturday night.
During the dinner , Tobin and another family who never really talked prior to the fire were able to talk and laugh together while their children rummaged through a table of toys.
“It’s comforting,” Tobin said of being around people who understand what she is going through. “It’s nice to have someone to talk to.”
To make a monetary donation, visit http://www.valleycf.org, click on giving and select special offering, or drop by Valley Christian Fellowship at 1352 Highway 395, Suite 109 in Gardnerville.