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Del Ray Citizens Association raises nearly $30,000 for local fire victims in two days

A fire destroyed the rear of two homes in the 100 block of E. Del Ray Avenue on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. (staff photo by James Cullum)

On Friday, a three-alarm fire ravaged a duplex in Del Ray and displaced two families. The next morning, neighbors started to mount an effort to help them recover.

Within two days, the Del Ray Citizens Association set up a GoFundMe that has raised $29,464 of a $30,000 total goal to help the families start putting their lives back together. The Del Ray Citizens Association said on the GoFundMe page that the families lost nearly everything they owned in the fire.

“Some of you may be aware, but the families lost everything,” the group said. “They ran out of their homes with only the clothes they were wearing. The money you’ve donated is helping them rebuild their lives and come as close to ‘normal’ as possible — we all know the importance of getting back to normal after these past few years. Toiletries, socks, underwear, shoes, diapers, toys for the baby, all the basics that were needed immediately. Soon to come will be furniture, kitchen basics, blankets, rent deposit, bedding, home goods.”

The Del Ray Citizens Association said that one of the families has been rehoused locally, while the other has moved in with family elsewhere in Northern Virginia.

Consignment shop Bellies & Babies (1913 Mt Vernon Avenue) has also been running a collection for household items for the families, asking for gift cards to Target and Amazon for the family, along with food. In terms of clothing and other items for the families, the consignment shop said it’s looking to collect:

  • Toys and books
  • Size 5 diapers
  • Size 6 shoes
  • Boy’s clothing
  • Sippy cups and blankets
  • Ladies’ clothing, size small, with 7.5-size shoes
  • Mens’ clothing, size large

Donations can be dropped off at Bellies & Babies with bags labelled “FIRE”.

“Please use Bellies & Babies as your drop-off point label any bag that is for this cause ‘FIRE’ and we will get it directly to the family,” the consignment shop said. “Thank you again for this community that is so generous and kind for everything you have been doing for all of our neighbors. I have always believed it takes a village and I’m happy to be a part of this one.”

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