Laura Gibson Fire Recovery Fund
As many of you may have heard, there was an explosion and terrible fire in NYC's East Village on March 26th that resulted in the collapse of two buildings, the destruction of adjacent buildings, and multiple injuries to at least 19 of those at the scene. Laura Gibson was inside one of those buildings when this horrible event occured--because it was her home. Thankfully, she was able to run out as the building filled with smoke--and she made it out quickly and unharmed. Unfortunately, everything inside was completely lost to the fire.
This means that, besides needing to find a new place to live, Laura needs to replace all of her belongings--including lost musical equipment (she is in the middle of making an incredible new record) and items necessary for continuing her grad school work at Hunter College.
Of course, as Laura is very loved, friends and family have been stepping up and offering couches, warm clothes, and basic necessities--and many more have started asking how they can help get Laura back on her feet as quickly as possible. This is one of the best, and easiest, ways to help her rebuild.
Please donate whatever you can--every little bit helps!
Thank you so much.
It’s so hard to find words to express how overwhelmed and grateful I am for your generosity and love since last Thursday. At some point, I hope to sit down and write something longer and more fully-formed. But I thought for now, I could at least take a shot at saying thank you.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out, texted, emailed, offered their homes and things, and donated to the recovery fund that my dear amazing friend Joan LeMay set up for me. Thank you Joan. Thank you to the friends who have walked around the city with me in the past few days, navigated me on errands, bought me meals, listened to me talk about the harder things, and also laughed with me about the absurd things.
I am heartbroken for the two young men who lost their lives. I can’t imagine what their families must be going through. I am heartbroken for so many who lost so much more than I did. My loss seems like nothing when considering theirs. I am going to post a few of my neighbors’ GoFundMe pages, and ask that you consider giving to them instead of me.
The only thing that truly hurt to lose was words on paper: the last five years of my writing notebooks, the beginnings of songs and stories, collections of words, phrases, copied poems and passages, lyrics I was working on for the new record, and for the musical I was working on for PHAME Academy. I was sad to lose my guitar and viola, but happy that they were captured on the record I’ve been making, which is safe in a studio back in Portland. Much of the fiction writing that I’ve been working on while at school is saved on email. In the end, none of the things I owned really seem to matter that much, and even the work that was lost came from me, and I’m still here.
When the explosion happened, I had to run down five flights of stairs in order leave the building. There was a moment when I looked down the stairwell and saw that smoke was beginning to fill the bottom. I wasn’t sure whether the smoke was coming from outside or inside, and thought perhaps I was running into something much worse than what I was running away from. I say this not to be dramatic, but because I’ve thought about the moment a lot in the past few days. I’ve also thought about a moment a few minutes later, sitting safe in the lobby of Cooper Union, watching the flames on our roof. It’s hard to explain, but those two moments, one realizing “This might be it. This might be it” and one realizing “I am safe. I am safe” didn’t feel so different from each other. In both of those moments, I just felt thankful. I love so many people in the world, and have been given so much. It feels so clear to me that this good life I’ve had, still have, is something I’ve received, not something I’ve earned.
So thank you again for all of the love you’ve shown me since the fire, the funds will be incredibly helpful. But also thank you for the love you’ve shown me before the fire. That too would have been enough.
Don’t let me half-ass anything ever again, especially love.
GoFundMe page for Diane McLean and her three children: http://www.gofundme.com/q77ktg
GoFundMe page for Mildred Guy and her family: http://www.gofundme.com/q8ee3a4
Dear Laura, I sent a note to the host of your page saying that I have a guitar for you if you would like. It's a Simon and Patrick in very nice condition. My email is in the note. I live in the neighborhood and happy to bring it to you.
Dear Laura, I am Cat Gibson's first cousin on the Dancy side, Marie Dancy Brennan. Its so hard to follow relatives when names change in marriage. So I guess we are second cousins, or first cousins once removed. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss and send all my love and prayers your way. Wish we were closer as we are moving and have much extra stuff, including furniture. Anyway I'm thinking about you and the rest of the family. You have your talent and can rebuild your life. And I know you have great family support. Love you, Marie
Linda, take heart: T.E. Lawrence lost his 200,000 word Seven Pillars of Wisdom manuscript, went on to write it from mostly memory which, at last report, is still in print. Hemingway, of course, lost most of his work when a suitcase was lost. He went on to write some pretty good things. You will, too.
We at Phame are sad for you I am glad you are ok pat Hansen