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Donations needed for fire victims

November 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Volunteers will be working through the weekend sorting through a wave of donations for fire victims.Donations for fire victims have been pouring in at the Sylmar park recreation center.

Hundreds of people lost their homes when fire swept through the Oakridge Mobile Home Park last weekend.

Many who were forced to evacuate with nothing but the clothes on their back, are picking up some basic necessities.

Eilene Sapalicio and five other members of her family lost everything in the fire.

"We went there two days ago, it was devastating. Everything was ash, everything burned down." Said Sapalicio

The donation effort is organized by St. Didacus church. The victims are in need of just about everything. Volunteers are collecting as many items as they can, including toys, diapers, dishes and food.

Community members have stopped by to drop off donations.

"Because the community can wrap their arms around these people and hug them," said volunteer Jan Sandstrom. "FEMA is not going to do that because that is not part of their job. But it is part of our job as a community"

Veronica start needed a pair of shoes... So she can walk through rubble of her home and search for something to save.

"The kindness of strangers has been phenomenal, I went the earthquake and people were wonderful to us then too," said Start, "but nothing like what we have gone through in the past couple of days."

The donations center has taken in a tremendous amount of clothing, but volunteers say they could use more canned food. In addition St. Didacus church has set up a fund for the victims.

Checks for victims should be made out to:

St. Didacus Church

14337 Astoria St.

Sylmar, 91342

(818) 367-6181

Fire victims can go to Sylmar park recreation center to pick up the donated items between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday.


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