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Donation drive held for families affected by Helena apartment fire

Posted at 9:25 AM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 11:43:45-05

The organizers of a donation drive to benefit the people displaced by a Helena apartment fire say they’re thankful for the outpouring of support.

“The community had an abundance of love to share with these families,” said William Palumbo, public relations officer for the American Legion Lewis and Clark Post 2.

The post collected clothes, linens, toiletries, toys and more on Saturday. They initially planned to continue the drive through Sunday, but they received more than enough items the first day.

“We turned away half as much as we have here,” Palumbo said.

They then brought in four of the families who lived in the apartment building on Raymond Street that burned Jan. 4. Those families were able to select any items they needed.

Some people also made monetary donations, as did the Legion post itself.

Palumbo said the drive is a reminder of the generosity of the Helena community.

“It’s a beautiful place to live, and not just because of the scenery,” he said. “It’s the people that make the place.”

Six families were displaced by the fire. Palumbo said the fifth family declined assistance, and they were not able to reach the sixth.

Any of the items left over after the families got what they needed will be donated to Good Samaritan Ministries. Palumbo said Good Samaritan volunteered to pick the items up, and even waived the typical fee.

-Reported by Jonathon Ambarian/MTN News