Bethlehem’s neighboring town plans ways to help families

January 4, 2013 by  

New Year’s Eve is usually a time for celebration but, for two families in Emmaus, a borough neighboring Bethlehem, it was a time of heartache which will hopefully be eased by the kindness of locals.

The families lost all of their possessions when a fire got started in their duplex building on Sunday, December 30. Area firefighters were particularly disheartened to hear about a young girl, aged 11, who lost her dog in the fire, as well as all of her new Christmas gifts. The girl was also injured trying to save her Great Dane from the blaze. She is in the hospital but expected to make a full recovery.

In response to the loss, the fire company in Emmaus, which is about 20 minutes from Bethlehem, is raising money and collecting donations to help the two families. Tomorrow, January 5, people are invited to drop off toys, clothing, and other items at the fire station. The firefighters are working to find out what toys the girl received for Christmas, so that people can donate the same items as replacements. Perhaps the firefighters can work with a Bethlehem print company to produce a list of items the families will need.

In addition to collecting physical objects, the firefighters have also set up two bank accounts, one for each family. Community members are invited to make a monetary donation to either or each account. The firefighters are also in the process of finding out where the families are staying. They want to get a sense of whether or not large donations, such as furniture and new appliances, will be appreciated right now or if they should wait until the families have found more permanent housing.