Survivors of Garden Valley Fire Still In Desperate Need of Help

click to enlarge Survivors of Garden Valley Fire Still In Desperate Need of Help
Bridgette Smith / GoFundMe

On March 26, 30 families (including 45 children) lost everything in a tragic fire that completely destroyed the Rainbow Terrace apartments in the Kinsman neighborhood complex. In addition to the emergency housing generously provided by The Red Cross, many of the families were relocated to different units within Rainbow Terrace but are living without furniture and are sleeping on floors.

Bridgette Smith, director of Rainbow Terrace programs, and a group of volunteers immediately began collecting money and donations to support these families in addition to setting up fundraisers on GoFundMe and with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland. The goal is to raise $5,000 for each family, for a total of $150,000. While this seems like a small amount for families that lost everything they owned, it's a step toward a new lease on life for those affected.

While Scene reported on the situation soon after, we recognize that these stories often lose public attention once they've fallen out of the headlines. We were reminded of this today when released personal and heartbreaking essays from the survivors of this tragic fire.

It’s not just me, my neighbors lost everything too, we [have] all been living at our homes for a long time. Then to see people [and] kids outside, wearing nothing, when we had to leave really hurts me. We all lost everything. -Anna, Rainbow Terrace Resident

The money collected through next Friday via GoFundMe and Boys & Girls clubs of Cleveland will be used to purchase furniture, but Smith will be renting a truck to pick up furniture donations throughout Northeast Ohio on Monday, April 16. The families are in need of 25 full-sized beds, 14 twin beds, 13 cribs and mattresses, in addition to bedroom furniture, sofas, kitchen tables and chairs, coffee tables and any other available furniture.

Rainbow Terrace is also accepting donations for housewares, clothing, bedding, toys and toiletries.

To schedule a pick-up for furniture donation, or for volunteer opportunities, call the Rainbow Terrace's Learning Center at 216-271-5373. (Rainbow Terrace is requesting donors also send photos to show the item's condition.)

Monetary donations can be done through GoFundMe or the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland.

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