My name is Christy Nixon. Andrea Ludden and I have been best friends since our freshman year at The University of Texas. I currently live in Austin, TX, and I'm trying to help out from far away.
My dear friend, Andrea, her father, Rolf, her brother, Alex, and Pancho, their dachshund lost their home in the fires that swept through Gatlinburg, TN on Monday, Nov. 28. Everyone is safe, but their entire home was lost. Andrea hoped they would be able to find at least a few buried items in the devastation, but the house doesn't even have a floor - they can see straight through to the basement. The fire left absolutely nothing.
The family's primary source of income is their jewelry making business, Earth and Sky Jewelry. While they were able to save a few pieces of jewelry, most of their inventory was destroyed.
Andrea dedicates herself to helping others in her community through the local Rotary club. She told me that she is usually the one helping, she's not used to asking for help.
The family does have insurance, but they are doubtful it will cover everything they need to rebuild their lives. There is also no guarantee of when the insurance funds will become available. They have immediate concerns, like a rental house and basic food and clothing. They will also have long term needs, like rebuilding their house and replacing all their basic household items.
Andrea is already taking steps to bring her community together in the tragedy. Despite her loss, she is already thinking of others, using her connections to start a community outreach program.
The family is in immediate need of financial assistance for rebuilding and replacing their lives. They will probably still be rebuilding for a few years. Anything you can give would be greatly appreciated!