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Community rallies to raise money after fire levels Linwood home

A fundraising effort to help a Linwood family who lost their home in a March 12 fire quickly surpassed its $5,000 goal, and now stands at some $40,000.

A mother and her four daughters escaped the early-morning blaze unscathed, but the home on Manser Road was destroyed, along with the family’s possessions. The community quickly rallied around them to offer support.

Hearing about the fire from one of the family’s neighbours about 5 a.m., long-time friend Natalie Martin jumped into action and started a fundraiser to help those affected by the fire just a few hours after it took place.

“I was horrified. I was so nervous for her and I was so sad for her. I actually found out at 5 o’clock in the morning, one of my clients lives across the street from her. She messaged me and she said, ‘I know you’re good friends with her, and this is what’s happening.’ I just felt really helpless that I was here and I couldn’t leave. And so that’s kind of why I went into action with the GoFundMe – that’s the only thing that I could do,” said Martin. “I wasn’t sure what kind of outreach we would get because I think a lot of people are struggling financially and all those kinds of things. So, I just wanted to help. And that was really the only way that I could have helped being here, and not being there with her.

“I think that the page was like up and running probably an hour, like the fire wasn’t even out yet. And the page was like shared probably 20 times already.”

Starting with a modest fundraising goal of $5,000, Martin says she wanted to be able to ensure the family would be able to purchase items such as clothing right away. However, she quickly saw the fundraising goal surpass even her hopeful goal of $10,000, bringing in a total of almost $40,000.

“I thought $5,000 was a good amount [that] could cover what they needed immediately. Then eventually, hopefully, insurance would take over and then they’d be able to go from there. So, I thought $5,000 was a good goal. I secretly hoped that we would get $10,000, but I think it’s easier to go a little bit lower and then be happy that you got a little more.”

Martin says despite everything going on, Britt and her girls are all doing well, and they are extremely grateful for all the support they have received from the community.

“She’s so grateful for everybody that has reached out and has helped and donated things and all that stuff… they’re doing really well though, the girls are doing really well. Everybody’s back to school and everybody’s feeling really, I think they’re just happy to be back to normal,” Martin added.

Donations can still be made to help the family who lost their home to an accidental fire. To donate visit the GoFundMe.

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