My name is Zandra Ghiroli, and my family's name may have entered your homes back in December 2013 after we lost our home and two dogs in a tragic house fire in Winchester Center, CT. The local community really stepped up and assisted us with getting back on our feet.
Now here we are four months after the fact and finding out that our horrible situation was taken advantage of by a local business here in the community. There were a few places that took it upon themselves to collect donations on my family's behalf. However, there is one business specifically that took advantage and stole donations from my family.
It has just recently been brought to my attention that a woman by the name of Christina, who owns and runs Christina's Consignmint of 18 McDermott Avenue in Torrington, CT, was the individual who took advantage of my family in our time of need.
Christina took it upon herself to collect donations on our behalf, sounds like a wonderful thing to do. If only it were that genuine. Come to find out this woman went through all of the clothing that was to be donated to my family and took what she wanted in order to put it up for sale in her store! On top of this, a local woman went in with $50 in cash to be donated to my family, yet somehow this turned into Christina putting it into the form of a gift certificate for her store... THEN, from there, she "donated" a pair of men's boots (which were of no use to us) and then charged us for them by taking the $20 out of the $50 certificate! From there she charged us another $20 which we to this day are clueless as to why, from the $30 that was left.
I am not apologetic in the least for throwing her name or her store's name, into this. My family was taken advantage of, and this is far from right. There should be repercussions for this establishment, and the owner who allowed for the theft to take place.
What I am asking of the local community is for anyone who donated anything, whether it is clothing, household goods, food, gift certificates, monetary donations, etc., to this establishment that was solely meant to go toward the Ghiroli Family, to please contact me. I can be reached by email at GhiroliTheft@Gmail.com. I am determined to get to the bottom of this, and would appreciate any and all assistance. If you'd like for our emails to be kept confidential, then please specify in the email prior to disclosing anything to me. The only person who I will refuse confidentiality to, is the person who hurt my family.
Good evening all! I apologize that I haven't done much updating lately. Our family is settled into a small three bedroom apartment in Winsted. The apartment is, for the most part, furnished. We are lacking desks & chairs for both of the kids and a kitchen table with chairs still. Stuff has been offered, but furniture is stuff that when offered... The donators fail to come through and it ends up being a lot of talk.
In other news...
It has recently been brought to my attention that there are individuals collecting donations on behalf of my family who aren't authorized to do so, in turn meaning we are not getting said donations. Basically they are telling others that they are taking donations for us and then they are keeping the donations for themselves or they are giving them to others that they feel are more entitled to them. If you would like to donate something or if you want to be sure that our family indeed received a donation you have made! please privately message me with who you made the donation through, what you donated, and approximately when you donated it. I will try my best to put you at ease with any donations that you have made.
I honestly can't believe this is happening, but some people just truly can't be trusted. It's very sad. Absolutely feel free to message me if you have any questions. Take care! xoxo Zandra
I just want to let people know that I don't have the option to send messages to people who don't leave donations. PLEASE do NOT take that as me asking you to leave a donation in order for me to speak with you!! The Go Fund Me page simply does not allow me a "reply" button or a "Thank You" button (This is what it does when donations are left, and I can send personal thank you messages this way!)
If you're interested in contacting me personally, no matter the reason, please feel free to email me at ZGhiroli@gmail.com I promise to respond back in a timely fashion!
I would also like to put out there that while we appreciate the numerous offers we have received for puppies, rescue dogs, and even other pets... That is not a road our family is comfortable with going down at this time. Our two pups that we lost that horrific day are irreplaceable and we as a family need adequate time to mourn them. They were family in every way imaginable, and to simply get another is not something we feel is right for our family. We absolutely appreciate the offers, but they have all been declined because we genuinely are too saddened by losing our furbabies to even think of adding any other furry beings to our life.
Again, thank you to each of you who have given their condolences, clothing donations, monetary donations, thoughts, prayers, etc! We genuinely appreciate them.
Here's the link to the story NBC did on us!♡ We are truly thankful for each and every one of you. Today we went to a local furniture store and were able to purchase new beds for both of the kids and ourselves because of the donations that have come through. Thank you.
Prior to the holiday I had placed a Christmas card order through the company, Shutterfly. Unfortunately I hadn't sent our cards out prior to the fire, so I lost those. They're entirely insignificant in comparison to everything that we lost that day... However, I contacted the company and they're sending us new ones in replacement. I wanted to replace them because they will be the last ones with our precious puppies on them.
Here's what they look like. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I'll also be sharing photos from our holiday at some point!
This photo is of gifts my mother in law gave to each of us in memory of our puppies that we lost.
Top Left: Cheranne's Bracelet with paw prints.
Top Right: Joshua's Keychain with their names on the front, paw prints on the back, & it opens up to accommodate a photo.
Bottom Left: Dominik's Dog Tags, they say Kobe & Kloe with Paw Prints on the front & back.
Bottom Right: Zandra's Bracelet (the pink one), the large heart has paw prints. The other bracelet on my wrist is an anniversary gift from my husband, we also had a paw print bead put on there in memory of them.
I want to thank you all for providing our children with the Christmas that they deserved, and I could only have dreamed of them having, given the circumstances. They were both so happy with the outcome, as was I! We are all extremely exhausted as of now, so we're passing out! I will attempt to share a few photos of our day at some point tomorrow!
I have received a couple of offers of apartments, I will be calling one lady about a 3 bedroom apartment in Winsted tomorrow, I have already been in contact with her daughter. & I have messaged another person on Facebook (Josh Clark) but haven't heard back as of yet. He has a 4 bedroom apartment in Torrington. So we'll see where this all goes! I would really like to find a home before Cheranne and Dominik have to go back to school.
Thank you all once again, my family is incredibly grateful.
As I sit here in our hotel room wrapping presents for the kids... I can't help but think of how close they were to not receiving gifts. They will be experiencing the true meaning of Christmas this year due to all who have made it possible through toy, clothing, & monetary donations. Thank you all so much to everyone who contributed. Our kids will be so happy & incredibly grateful. There are no words to describe how happy I am for it to be midnight and for me to still be wrapping gifts. Thank you all!
Today started out kinda scary. We really didn't know where we were going or what to expect, as today was our final day with the hotel in which The American Red Cross set us up in. I called the insurance company first thing this morning to ask them and within 30 minutes they had a new reservation set up for us and we were moved into our new hotel room by 11:30. USAA has been wonderful in caring for us. We now have 2 rooms so the children no longer have to share a bed. It's the little things, it really is!
We went to Kelly's Kitchen in Winsted for lunch. Kelly herself donated certificates to us, and I must say the food is delicious! It was so nice to sit down and have a home cooked meal over fast food. Thank you so much Kelly!!
After all that we picked up so many donations. We went to Northwest Sporting Goods (Winsted), they donated so many items for Dominik. He received a wonderful bicycle that's entirely him, AND it's his favorite color! We also received a gift card from a private donor, the gift card is for Tanger Outlets in Westbrook. Since Cheranne hasn't received much in donations in comparison to Dominik (Let's face it, donating to an 8 year old boy is so much easier than donating to a 14 year old girl!), so my husband and I have decided to give Cheranne the gift card for Christmas to spend as she wishes. I mean, a 14 year old being allowed to spend money on clothes? I think she'll be very happy with that.
We're still looking for a long term housing option. We're definitely wanting to stay in Winsted due to the amount of support the community has provided. With our lives reaching the lowest they have been, the Winsted/Torrington community have pulled through and brought our spirits up. I am proud to refer to the local community as family, and I don't wish for that to change.
I am completely amazed by this. I am still working on sending personal thank you messages to each donor, it's just when I think I'm half way done I end up back near square one! The towns of Winsted and Torrington have been absolutely amazing with the amount of donations and assistance they have provided. I never would have known where to turn to, but you all have made this so much easier on us.
Right now our family is still staying in a single motel room in Torrington. The American Red Cross have paid for it up till check out time tomorrow. I will be calling our insurance company first thing in the morning to figure out where we are going from there. We have also begun looking for a permanent home for the four of us. We're trying so hard to stay in Winsted as we really don't want the children to have to change school's and make new friends on top of losing their home, belongings, and puppies. If you know of any 3 bedroom rentals for a reasonable price, please feel free to contact us through the message option.
We are so incredibly grateful for each of you! & We are definitely planning to have lunch at Kelly's Kitchen, we're hoping today (Monday)!
We would like to thank everyone that has donated to us so far it is greatly appreciated. I will be going thru and sending individual thank yous to everyone that has donated, we have a lot going on as you may imagine so it may take a little bit but we want to make sure everyone knows how much their support means to us.
Our family lost everything today (12/19), including our 2 beloved family dogs to a house fire. We found out that we are severely under insured and have an entire home, 10 years worth, of belongings to replace in order to get back to somewhat of a normal life again. All of our Christmas presents for our two children were in our home at the time as well. Any help given is extremely appreciated. Thank you.
*UPDATE* 12/20: As you can all imagine things have been chaotic over the last 24 hours or so. We are incredibly grateful for everything everyone has donated and words will never come close to showing how grateful our family actually is.
A little about our family... We are a family of 4. My husband, Joshua, and I have been together for 10 years and this Monday (December 23rd) marks our 8th wedding anniversary. Together we have one little boy, Dominik who turned 8 last month. We also have legal custody and care for my sister Cheranne who is 14. My husband served 7 years in the Army as a Military Police Officer for 3 years and was forced to reclass due to an injury he sustained on his first deployment. He reclassed to the Satellite Communications field, and held that for the next 4 years. His injury kept him from doing his job to the best of his ability leading him to a medical discharge. He served a total of two tours one to Iraq and the other to Cuba.
Our family deeply misses our pups. Kobe had been with us since 2007 when we rescued him and Kloe we just rescued this past March. Both were family, they were like crazy fun little four legged nuts... Kinda like our kids and the kids siblings.
I have had many people ask about clothing sizes for us and so I thought it appropriate to post them here for all. Any clothing that is donated that doesn't fit or we are unable to use we will pay it forward and donate to others in need. None will be sold and none will be donated to any place that charges for the clothing. We will make sure that they are given to others in need.
Dominik: Size 8 or Small in Boys clothing. Size 13 in Boys shoes. Cheranne: Size 11 or Extra Large in Junior clothing, Size 8 in Womens shoes. Joshua: Size 36x34 Jeans, Large/Extra Large in mens. Size 8/8.5 in Mens shoes. Zandra: Size 11 or Large in Junior clothing. Size 7 in Womens shoes.
Message us to set up any meetings for donations. Any and all questions can also be asked through the message option as well. We wish you all well this holiday season and hope for you that this is something you and your loved ones never have to experience.
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