Windsor Green fire victims say recovery will be "long haul"
Mon, 25 Mar 2013 21:54:29 GMT —
It's been nine days since the fire at the Windsor Green condo development destroyed 26 buildings and left 189 people homeless. Aid for the fire victims now heads into a new phase. Volunteers are helping victims get cash, supplies and even jobs.
SC Forestry Commission investigators are still working on finding out who started the fire, victims were still sifting through the ashes Monday and volunteers are settling in to provide relief for the long haul.
Many victims are still in need of basic necessities and the X Sports Mall in Myrtle Beach has turned into a vast collection point for just about anything victims could want.
Clothing is no longer needed there, but furniture and everyday items are welcome.
"Laundry detergent, toiletry items, those things are being taken on a daily basis, and they're being replenished on a daily basis," said organizer Bradley Parker.
Parker says the collection space will turn into a thrift store and organizers hope to hire four unemployed fire victims to keep it going for as long as needed, perhaps several months. He says volunteers are still needed at the Sports Mall, to collect and distribute all the stuff.
There will be a garage sale there this weekend, with proceeds going to the fire victims.
"Any funds we raise we're going to pool it with the funds that we've already raised and divvy it out as needed," Parker added.
A $10,000 donation from Lions Club International will go toward providing vouchers to fire victims.
"They are allowed to go to businesses that we have negotiated with and purchase items that they need through the vouchers," said Randy Edwards, a regional Lions Club governor.
After losing their home in the fire, Vincent Schiavone, his wife and two kids are slowly getting their lives back to normal. They found a temporary home to stay in.
"It's gonna be a long haul, it's not over," Schiavone said.
Schiavone says he can't say enough thank you's to the community.
As for anyone who still wants to know how to help, Schiavone says: "Be a friend, be a neighbor and we'll all get through it together."