Community pulling together to help displaced Windsor residents

Colin Chisholm colin.chisholm@tc.tc
Published on February 8, 2016

Firefighters look on as the Windsor Fire Department uses an aerial attack to help douse an apartment Feb. 3.

©Carole Morris-Underhill — TC Media

WINDSOR — A Superstore employee and his family are dealing with the loss of their home following a recent fire, but the community is stepping up to lend a hand.

On Feb. 3, a fire ripped through an apartment building in Windsor around 1:15 a.m., displacing several people.

One of those people is an employee at the Atlantic Superstore in Windsor, and his colleagues are reaching out in support.

JoAnn Jackson, an employee at the grocery store, is organizing a fundraiser for the young family affected.

“He and his family are going to have to replace everything,” Jackson said. “We’ve collected all kinds of donations already from our staff and our community. It’s been really heart-warming how great the reception has been for it already.”

There will be a spaghetti lunch on Feb. 11, from noon until 2 p.m. in Superstore’s community room.

It’s open to the public and all proceeds will go to support the family.

The lunch costs $5 and additional donations will be accepted.

“It’s great that people are giving clothes and all kinds of things, but when you think about the things that were in your spice cupboard, or your bathroom closet, it’ll take quite a bit to replace all that they’ve lost,” she said.

Jackson said as soon as the staff heard about what happened, they knew they had to do something.

“He’s a part of our Superstore family,” she said. “We wanted to raise enough to get them set up in a new apartment, their down payment and first month’s rent to get them through.”

Jackson said a GoFundMe page (visit: https://www.gofundme.com/v2n3nzjw) has also been established to help with costs.

“We’ve had customers come in with bags of clothes, toys, a high chair, a car seat, a crib was donated — all of the big things a young family needs,” she said. “We’ve had customers buy a $50 gift certificate and say ‘please give this to the young couple.’”

Dan Bedell, a spokesperson for Red Cross Canada, said at least one family of three from the building did receive support from the organization, including hotel, clothing and food vouchers.

Bedell said he couldn’t confirm if other tenants also received support.

“We provide immediate emergency support that people need in the hours or a few days after the incident,” Bedell said. “It allows time for other support measures — family and friends, community groups — to take over. It takes time for those things to get organized.”

Seven people lived in the building when the fire broke out, Bedell said.