Two AmeriCorps Lose Home in Devastating Fire

Two AmeriCorps Members Lost Home in Devastating Fire

 At 3 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17th, the Griffin-Ard family was asleep when their house caught fire. Within a few minutes, the entire house was engulfed.  Firefighters worked for hours to contain the blaze but in the end all that was left of the house left was a smoldering wreck.

Leslie Griffin, the homeowner, and her family lost everything—family photos, furniture, computers, clothing, art, their car, even Leslie’s late father’s collection of rare early jazz records. While two of their cats have been reunited with the family, sadly, their beloved dog did not survive the fire and one cat is still missing.

Still, it’s a miracle that everybody escaped.  Moments before firefighters arrived on the scene, neighbors drove Leslie, her husband Jason, her daughter Josephine, and her daughter’s boyfriend Fayvien, to the emergency room, where they were treated for smoke inhalation. Josephine was treated for minor burns.   

Today, we are asking for another miracle—to counter this tragedy. As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Leslie drives from New Ipswich to Nashua, where she helps analyze data to determine the needs of the city’s most vulnerable individuals. In exchange, Leslie receives a small living allowance, under $15,000 a year. Her husband Jason, recovering from recent surgery that restored sight in his left eye, is also serving as an AmeriCorps Recovery Corps  member to combat the opioid epidemic and substance misuse in New Hampshire through peer based recovery supports. With a household income of under $30,000 a year for a family of four, Leslie and Jason could not afford insurance on their home or possessions.

AmeriCorps VISTAs  “bring passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty. [They] serve as a catalyst for change.” Today, we are asking you to be the catalyst for this family with great need.  

We have set a goal of $7,500 dollars to help them in the long process of finding housing and restocking their lives. In the short term, they need: 

·        Housing 

·        Shirts, pants, sweatshirts, coats, jackets, socks, shoes/sneakers/sandals 

·        Pet food, beds, toys 

·        Luggage, backpacks, and reusable bags 

·        Pillows, pillowcases, sheets, blankets, comforters 

·        Hazard mitigation

Leslie and her family will be separated during the next few weeks or months as they rebuild their lives. Leslie and Jason will enter a local shelter while they continue to fulfill their AmeriCorps service terms. Josephine and her boyfriend have been staying with trusted friends of the family on a temporary basis, until the family can secure alternative housing.

We ask that you donate directly to this campaign. If you would prefer to donate items, please contact [email redacted] . 

To read more visit: 





Main photo credit to Meghan Pierce.
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Fundraising team (4)

Kyle Farrell
Raised $720 from 11 donations
Nashua, NH
Leslie Griffin
Donna Curley
Team member
Raised $50 from 1 donation
Leslie Griffin
Team member

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