HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – People with open hearts are donating clothing, pots and pans, and other household items to help the more than 80 victims of Monday morning’s fire at a Holyoke apartment building.
The United Congregational Church on Appleton Street is filling up with donated items. Co-Pastor Chuck Morkin told 22News that people have been responding in steadily increasing numbers.
Pam Patrick came from Granby. She told 22News that the video of people suffering motivated her to be of help by gathering some clothing and bringing it to the church.
“It’s very touching, but it shows when a lot of people in the community get together and each do their little part, It can have a big impact and help people in a time of need,” Patrick said.
Sixteen of the 88 homeless are children who need clothing to replace what they lost. Holyoke’s War Memorial building provided overnight shelter for 33 of the homeless. At least 25 are expected to sleep there Tuesday night as well.
The whole situation is particularly difficult for Maria Nieves, for whom Monday’s fire was cruel déjà vu. Five years ago, she lost everything in an apartment fire in Springfield. She started from scratch, and all of the replacement items and furniture are gone again.
“Like I’ve lost everything all over again. I’m starting from the bottom with nothing. No help, my family… it’s a repeated episode: ‘Why do I have to go through this?’ I said to myself,” Nieves said.
If you would like to help the victims, you can bring items to the United Congregational Church of Holyoke, located at 300 Appleton Street.
You can make monetary donations to the American Red Cross by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or visiting redcross.org