Janis Wilkins' Apt Fire Recovery

On January 8, 2018, my sister Janis returned from yoga class to find her New York city apartment building on fire and evacuated. What started as a toaster fire quickly escalated to a 7-alarm fire, battled by over 200 firefighters for over 7 hours.  It was the top story on NYC newcasts that night (http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2018/01/08/fire-riverside-drive-manhattan).  Janis had nothing but the clothes on her back and is now without a home and a way to earn her living as an artist/photographer. The City has placed her in a small room in an extended stay hotel with a shared bath for up to a year as the owners make repairs to the building. The hotel does not have any kitchen facilities, so Janis will need to eat out for every meal for months. It also requires her to stay there every night, adhering to a curfew and signing in and out.  This means that she cannot travel out of the city at all, even for a short stay with friends.

Each day has brought new challenges that Janis has met by keeping her focus on the gratitude she feels for what she does have—her life, her health, her friends, and all that the universe has given her.   This week, she and a team of her friends were allowed one hour to walk up to her 6th floor apartment and grab what they could.  Firefighters had been forced to cut through the roof to an attic to contain the fire, seriously compromising the ceiling in her top floor apartment and leaving watermarks showing at least 5 inches of water in the apartment.  She moved all that was carried out to a $250/month storage unit now filled with bags of wet, sooty, smoky belongings. She has begun the difficult task of sorting through her belongings to determine what can be saved. Unfortunately, she had no renters insurance, so is in need of funding to help restore her life and business as an artist. She will need to have her clothing restored or replaced, buy a new computer and monitor so she can make a living, rent workspace and find a way to replace all of her household items.  Those of you who know Janis understand that she is not at all materialistic, and she is quick to remind us that she has much to be grateful for.  While she and Team Janis were grabbing her belongings, they were also able to rescue a cat belonging to another tenant and reunite the kitty with its owner.  Janis knows what is important, but we would like to be able to help her recoup some of her physical belongings as well.

If there is any way that you could help, it would be so appreciated. We just want Janis to feel the love.
  • Elisabeth Lohninger 
    • $20 
    • 56 mos
  • Francesca Miano 
    • $25 
    • 57 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 57 mos
  • Carmela Bennett 
    • $35 
    • 57 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 57 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Diane Wilkins 
Tallahassee, FL
Janis Wilkins 

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