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Help Worcester Newton Square Fire Victims

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On May 1, 2023, two local families were deeply affected when a fire in the Newton Square neighborhood of Worcester, MA, destroyed the 808-812 Pleasant Street block that housed their retail businesses. The blaze started in the basement and quickly engulfed the structure, resulting in a three-alarm firestorm.

The goal of this fundraiser is to provide some immediate funding for these two families. With their establishments now a total loss, both sets of owners lost their entire source of income ~ and insurance will likely cover only a small percentage of their business loss.

Edwin Ramirez and Julia Portillo, who have two children under age 10, opened Worcester Flower Shop four years ago. Their business quickly grew and became a neighborhood favorite with locals. With the fire occurring just weeks before the start of their busiest season, Edwin and Julia have had to refund all their floral pre-orders for Mother’s Day, graduations, and weddings.

Although U-Home Décor opened less than a year ago (July 2022), Worcester-area locals quickly found this unique shop specializing in custom-made furniture and cabinet/ furniture restoration. Owners Edison and Clareabel Quiñones, who have a blended family with four children, also rehabbed items, giving old fixtures new life and providing one-of-a-kind decorative highlights for their customer base. Their store also stocked distinctive home accessories in a variety of design styles.

“Our hearts were broken when we saw the fire consume our shop,” says Edwin Ramirez. “It was very hard to lose our hard work and efforts and watch our dreams being devoured by fire.” The shop was having its best year yet and was brimming with flowers in preparation for the busy Mother’s Day weekend.

Both store owners are distraught not only for their own losses, but also because they are currently unable to continue serving their loyal customers and neighborhood friends. Edwin and Edison both express their extreme appreciation for the much-needed community support thus far and going forward as they consider if restarting their businesses will be a possibility.




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Donations 

  • Anya Wilczynski
    • $100 
    • 10 mos
  • Deborah Guyot-Freeman
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Karen Gottschang
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Catherine Mills
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $75 
    • 10 mos
Donate

Organizer

Newton Square Community
Organizer
Worcester, MA

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