After an early morning fire in Fireside last Wednesday (June 6) some local community members stepped up to show support.
Fireside community members Monica Wach and her spouse Cory Mott decided on Friday to throw together an impromptu 'pancakes by donation' breakfast for the community at large in support of those residents that were affected by the blaze.
Wach shares Friday evening as she drove home from work she was racking her brain about what she could do to help. "I know there was a lot of people, like me and my spouse, where people want to help out but they're not really sure how. I think, too, a lot of people don't want to give their money to Red Cross when they don't know where it's going or how it's being allocated so this was just a last minute idea where everybody could come out and get together as a community knowing the money would go directly to those families."
Although there was not a lot of prep time, Wach not only pulled off the breakfast but she did it successfully; raising just shy of $900 with donations still rolling in. "It was far more successful than I thought it was going to be for how late we planned it but we have a really good community and a lot of people turned up, brought their kids and were very generous."
Wach and Mott live directly behind the residents whose homes suffered extensive damage and while they were part of the experience, nothing really prepares you for the aftermath. "You just can't prepare yourself for it. You know it all happened but to see it in the morning and the damage...it is quite shocking."
This isn't the first time Wach has felt the emotional impact of a fire, working for forestry during the Fort Mac fire, she says it's not just the loss of your 'stuff' but the emotions around the event itself. "Just knowing what those families are going through, I had a lot of friends in Fort Mac that went through that and we definitely wanted to do something to help out."
Eleven homes received quite significant damage and between Wach and community member Brittni Wilson the two would like to keep the momentum going by providing gifts for the eleven homeowners. Cash donations or business services are being accepted and encouraged, if you would like to donate please contact Wach or Wilson at the emails listed.
Wach is not overly surprised to see the community come together this way. "I'm not surprised at all; everyone is heavily involved in things that are going on in the community whether it's fundraising for the school or just individual kids fundraising everyone around here is always trying to help each other out. I think the one thing I found that was a little surprising was during the actual situation seeing how many people were taking care of each other that didn't really know each other. I saw on our block people going around and knocking on doors, getting people out and just working together to help each other. It's overwhelming seeing how much people are coming forward but at the same time, I'm not surprised. I have been here since 2013 and I think this is a pretty good example of how tight this community is and how supportive they are of one another."