03 June, 2011

Helping Victims of the Springfield MA Tornado

You may have heard of the tornadoes which hit my area earlier this week.  The towns of West Springfield, Springfield, East Longmeadow, and Monson all experienced some damage, with many buildings - homes, schools, and businesses, damaged or destroyed.  While the damage doesn't come close to the extent of what happened in Joplin, MO, there are several neighborhoods here which were obliterated.

Although my own hometown of Enfield CT, a few miles to the south, was untouched by the storms, my family has been personally affected, and that is the reason for this post.

One of Lynnafred's classmates at Holyoke Community College, a young lady named Fabiola Guerrero, has been left homeless and personally devastated by the storm.  Her mother Angelica, 39, was killed when their West Springfield house was destroyed by the tornado which chewed through their neighborhood.  Mrs. Guerrero put Fabiola's younger sister in the bathtub - the safest place in the house - and then shielded her with her own body.  The sister was severely injured when the house collapsed around them but survived.  Mrs. Guerrero did not.

Fabiola's father was also in the house when it came down.  He too survived, and along with his young daughter is now hospitalized.  Fabiola arrived home after the storm to find virtually nothing left of her old life.

Holyoke Community College has taken the initiative to extend a helping hand to Fabiola and her family.  This is an excerpt from an email that Lynnafred received from Liz Golen, HCC's Interim Student Activities Coordinator:

Student Activities will be a drop location for donations for Fabiola and her family from now until next Friday 6/10. Gift cards, new toiletries, new clothing (sizes TBD, we are awaiting an email with details), portable bedding, etc. This family does not have a place to store any household donations, toys, or books, so nothing of that nature please.


If you are compelled to personally help - to touch the lives of one family left in anguish by the storm - you may do so by contributing gift cards.  Lynnafred and I will collect any contributions you care to send and she will bring them to HCC by the deadline of 10 June 2011.  Please use the Contact Me link at the top of the page to send me an email and I'll let you know the mailing address for sending cards (or, if you're local to the Enfield CT area maybe we can meet and save some postage.)

If you prefer to contribute to the affected communities at large, without concentrating on a single person in need, please make a contribution to the American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter at 506 Cottage St., Springfield, MA 01104.

1 comment:

Cindy Rowland said...

Thanks for posting. I've wondering what I can do.