One of our California families suffered a tragedy this week. They just lost everything due to an apartment fire – two bags of items salvaged by the firefighters and some Red Cross blankets are all this family has left. The fire started in the apartment above them but it engaged the sprinkler system in their apartment, so all of their possessions were damaged or ruined by the water.
The father of this family spent six years working with USAID in Afghanistan as a translator and assisting with civil affairs agricultural development missions. He was also a part of USAID’s Community Cohesion Initiative operating in Helmand province where he survived ambushes and suicide bombing attacks. It took his family three years to get their SIVs and they just arrived in the U.S. one month ago.
In this time of crisis, while securing his own family’s safety, this hero father could not leave anyone behind. A neighbor, as she was running down the stairs, screamed that her young son was still inside the burning apartment. The father our NOLB family ran up to the apartment, still ablaze, and rescued the boy; reuniting him safely with his mother and siblings.
Thankfully, the family came through the ordeal unscathed and the apartment complex was able to get them moved into a vacant apartment about 48 hours after the fire. Between donations on hand with local NOLB volunteers and incredible community generosity, NOLB was able to get the family all the basics – dishes, towels, linens, mattresses, clothing, shoes, etc… by the first night in their new apartment.
Special thanks and kudos to our incredible volunteers who jumped into action and made sure this family was taken care of and tended to in a time of crisis.
Donations made by people like you via the NOLB website were applied to cover two months’ worth of rent for the family ($2,500). Additionally, between furniture donations and local donations the family has completely replaced their furniture over the last two weeks.
The father of this family is back at work. The kids are back in school and their mom is smiling again.
This happy ending would not have been possible without you.
The father of this SIV family has repeatedly thanked NOLB and asked how he can repay us for the kindness and help throughout this whole ordeal. That thanks goes out to you! Seeing this happy family, safe and back on the road to self-sufficiency and success is a great reward.