My mom, Lisa, wrote that in early August after an electrical fire destroyed her workshop of 20 years. It contained every tool she'd purchased over all those years...tools necessary to run her lawn care business...tools that made it possible to earn a living, and that built furniture for our home, repaired appliances, maintained family vehicles. But the losses didn't stop there--also destroyed were three surfboards (one made for my mom by a family friend), her electric scooter, bins full of family memorabilia, a refrigerator full of food, driftwood my mom collected over the past three decades, luggage, camping gear, furniture, and more. The 16' above-ground pool my family had enjoyed for years melted. Three lawn mowers melted. The back of the house i grew up in melted. And perhaps most tragic of all, my sister's bunnies' hutch (which my mother built in that workshop) caught fire. One rabbit, Janis, was rescued by a firefighter. The other, Stormy, a family member for the last decade, burned to death.
As the fire roared outside, my sisters sat in the house, oblivious to the perilous situation. A spectator crept into our side yard to film the fire on his phone, instead of calling emergency services or seeing if anyone was in the house. The footage he captured shows a fearless and concerned neighbor pulling equipment from the fire, in what turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt to salvage anything.
My family lost so much. Anyone who has experienced a loss such as this can relate to how difficult it is to juggle rebuilding while trying to continue working to fund the rebuild. Imagine the additional stress of losing so much of the equipment you use to generate your family's income. The house is uninsured, so we're at a loss for where to turn.
Mom had never heard of crowdfunding, but her six children certainly had. So we've been working together to put up this campaign and try to recoup some of her losses. So many lovely people have reached out and asked how they can help, many of whom live hundreds of miles away, and we all agree this is a great way to truly help.
We've run some numbers, and we think rebuilding the workshop will be the most expensive endeavor. Mom estimates that will cost at least $3,000. She looked into the costs of using a fire damage contractor to clean up the charred pile of debris in the backyard. She tried doing it herself and within an hour had blood streaming down both legs from nails, glass, metal fragments, etc. She was covered in toxic soot. She fell through the floor three times and finally decided that doing this in 100-degree heat was impossible. The damage contractors gave estimates of about $1,500 to clean up the shed and the pool—to completely take everything away.
Regarding replacing some tools and other personal items, $2,000 will be a start. Our goal amount doesn't include any of the costs to rebuild Mom's business, as she feels she needs to solve that herself.
Of course, if you live near my family, physical and emotional support would be greatly appreciated.
Or if you have tools you'd be willing to donate, that could be great. If anyone needs a list of what we'll need to rebuild, let me know and i can start putting one together.
If you have unused gift cards lying around for Walmart, Amazon, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, all would be appreciated.
And if you have any ideas that might help us, please feel free to share. We've never experienced a fire like this, and we're dazed in the face of the seemingly insurmountable task of rebuilding.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and for any support you choose to lend my family.
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