Jim Franz, community development co-ordinator for the City of Alameda, told Action Alameda news, “All of the funds we’re collecting today will go directly to the four families, 13 individuals, five of them children, who were affected by the fires. All of them were displaced. Three of those families lost almost all of their possessions. Essentially it’s a community event.”
Formerly, Franz was, for 20 years, director of community services for the American Red Cross Bay area; he also said the purpose of the event was to encourage support for victims of fire in Alameda throughout the year, not just the alleged arson fires that took place on September 28th.
Lai Meng Ieong, mother in a family of four that lived above Brite Cleaners on the 1600 Park Street has her family in a hotel right now. They were displaced by one of the arson fires.
She said, “I want to thank all of the community members for supporting our family through this difficult time. We lost everything in the fire. But we didn’t actually lose anything because we’ve received so much warmth from the community. I feel I have the courage and the confidence to rebuild and re-establish my home and my future for my children and my family. My husband and I have decided that in the future, we will contribute more to the community, because so many people we don’t know have helped us.”
Supporters that wish to make direct contributions to the Alameda Relief Fund can do so at First Community bank on Blanding Avenue, located inside of Nob Hill Foods.
T-shirts created to raise money for the fund will be on sale at businesses throughout Alameda through to December.