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Holyoke Residents Come Together to Help North East Street Fire Victims

After the fire that struck an apartment complex on New Year's, Holyoke residents have come together to help those affected by the tragedy.

Manon Nadeau, Staff Reporter '17

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During the morning hours of New Year’s Day, an electrical fire swept through an apartment complex on North East Street in our city.  This awful accident left three Holyoke residents deceased and twenty-five families, many with young children, displaced and left with nothing.

Although this marked a tragic event in our hometown, the city quickly came together to help those in need. Multiple spots around town became designated as drop off zones for any goods that those affected by the fire might need within the upcoming difficult weeks.

Kelly School, a drop off spot especially close to the fire itself, became the main hub of donations within just a few hours. People from all over Holyoke flooded to the school with everything from winter jackets to baby clothes to shampoo and toothbrushes. The halls of the school were literally chucked full of donations; every table in the gym and cafeteria was covered with supplies that people had dropped off in a matter of less than 48 hours.

Communication was made mostly through Facebook, keeping people up to date on what was still needed down at the school, and what there was already plenty of.  By the morning of Monday the 2nd, volunteers were showing up in droves to Kelly, willing and able to do anything needed to help the cause.  The day was spent organizing supplies, separating clothes from bags, and helping any families who came through the school to get their hands on necessary items as easily and quickly as possible.  As for any families who couldn’t make their way to the school, volunteers put together bags with a little bit of everything and drove them to the family’s current locations.

At the end of a very long day, there were still countless amounts of donated, clothing especially.  Any excess supplies that weren’t needed by the families were then donated to Salvation Army, where it would hopefully be at the access of other families in need around our area.

The way Holyoke comes together in a time of need is truly incredible.  For a city often seen as “impoverished” and looked down upon, we certainly know how to be generous and kind human beings when our fellow citizens are in need of any help.  The way people come together to help their fellow neighbor is a light in the tunnel of a tragedy, and goes to show just how wonderful Holyoke really can be.

Having grown up in Holyoke my entire life, I have experienced the negative connotations of my hometown quite frequently, but the ability of our city to band together is something that puts all those stereotypes to rest, and shows just how great we, as a community, are capable of being.  Even in the midst of such a heartbreaking event, Holyoke is strong, and Holyoke stands together.

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Holyoke Residents Come Together to Help North East Street Fire Victims