Community Aid for the Victims of the Parkesburg, Pennsylvania Easter Fire
Early Easter morning, a fire broke out on the 100 block of Washington Street in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania, in Chester County. The fire was reported to have damaged six homes and displaced at least 22 residents. Some of the residents were reported to have lived in their homes for decades.
In complete alignment with the spirit of this wonderful community, fellow Parkesburg residents have stepped up to help these residents during this incredible time of vulnerability and need. In this article, we've complied some resources to support these folks. Given that our entire practice is made up of social workers, we have added our own insight on how to maximize your gifts to each outlet.
Parkesburg Borough Hall: a drop box is located outside of Borough Hall for donations of financial gifts such as gift cards. Visit the Borough Hall website here. In our experience, it's best to make sure that gift cards correspond with common and local businesses. Although visa and master card (etc.) gift cards can be helpful, sometimes folks can have difficulty using them or finding where they can be used.
American Red Cross: the American Red Cross is reported to be supporting the 22 victims. See their website for ways to donate to this organization.
SpringHouse Spirits: this local business reported on their Facebook page to be collecting and organizing in-kind donations (such as clothes) to local residents. For in-kind donations, please keep in mind that it's best to only donate items you yourself would be willing to use or wear. Being "in need" does not alter someone's humanity. This means that, just as anyone would not want to wear clothes that are unattractive, ripped, dirty, or stained, someone in need should not be given such items either.
Parkesburg Action Committee: this organization brings us all of the fun events on Main Street. They have been posting updates and ways to help on their Facebook page.
Octorara Football Club: this organization posted to their Facebook page that they are collecting financial donations for victims via their Venmo account: @octorarafbclub
Please keep in mind that any physical (in-kind) donation is not an opportunity to "get rid of" junk, partially used, holiday/outdated, or expired items rather than disposing of them properly. When impractical or potentially dangerous items cannot be used by victims of disaster, the organizing businesses and charities must pay by weight to dispose of the items for you. This takes vital funding and energy away from those who desperately need it.
Trained in psychological first aid, we understand how important mental health intervention is for victims of disasters. The first steps are to make sure that victims are physically safe, have what they need to survive, and have their information needs met about the event itself. Therapy Center for Transformative Growth plans to offer support to the victims once we have a better idea of the age ranges, the relocation of the victims, and specific needs.
We will update this post when more information becomes available.