Helping a neighbor in need

Posted on 31. Jan, 2012 by

I’ve found redemption in a few phone calls today.

Yesterday, I covered a house fire. Inititally toned out as an abandoned home, we paid no mind until we heard the Red Cross being dispatched to help a man and a woman and their 12-year-old daughter. A call to the Red Cross is usually a sign of tragedy.

With that, I gathered my things, took a deep breath and headed to Private Road 4823 in Aurora.

I’ll be the first to admit — hard news stories aren’t my favorite to cover. In tragic situations, like the loss of a home to fire, I realize that showing up with pen and paper to question those affected may make us as reporters look like vultures preying over victims in their most vulnerable circumstances. But it is my job to report the facts — good or bad. And fact — albeit bad — is, fire destroyed this family’s home on what was supposed to be their move-in day.

When I got to the house, the homeowners were the only ones on scene as firefighters from Rhome, Boyd and Newark (the responding departments) had cleared. Reluctantly, I approached the couple to see if they would be willing to talk. They were — the wife through tears and the husband in a low, deflated voice. Without renter’s insurance, family nearby, money saved or a place to go, the couple felt so helpless.

As did I — my words of consolation seemed useless. But I continued scribbling notes to string together a brief blurb for our Facebook page and today’s Update.

Through that minimal coverage, we’ve reached out to at least three generous community members. Three times, our newsroom has fielded calls from people offering the family a place to stay, at least temporarily. Phone calls like that are why I do what I do — inform our readers of factual, provable Wise County happenings (positive and negative) with the hope that reporting brings about a needed change.

Hopefully, it works out that way for the Taylors, all thanks to one our generous readers.

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