The Bulloch community responds, once again, in extraordinary ways to help bridge the immediate needs for the 20 families affected by the fire at Little Lotts Creek Apartments (LLC).
Bulloch VOAD made an appeal to the community for immediate assistance to provide hotel rooms for the victims. They now have raised enough money to cover hotel rooms for every family who needs them for two weeks.
However, they are continuing to collect financial donations through their partner agencie CEDRC to help defray additional expenses incurred by the families.
Or mail checks to: CEDRC, P.O. Box 1133 Pooler, Ga 31322
Agencies and Businesses Stepping Up to Help
The American Red Cross responded the day of the fire and provided financial assistance to each family. These funds allowed them to get hotel rooms for a few days, while assessments were made of the severity of the situation.
Other local churches and organizations have also assisted including Pittman Park Church, First United Methodist Church and Christian Social Ministries.
During the week the residents learned that all 20 units would not be accessible to them until this week. This means it maybe another week or so, before any of them would be able to move back onto the property.
According to Katherine Parks, Site Manager at LLC, pending structural engineering review later this week, she hopes that after that eight of the apartments can be cleaned and the residents can return.
However, twelve residents will be permanently replaced. These twelve families are being allowed to remove anything from their apartments that is salvagble this week.
McKeithen Hardware donated $100 gift cards to each family. This has helped cover expenses like UHaul trucks to get their items out and in temporary storage facilities.
United Way is working on a grant through the Salvation Army to assist with the ones who need help with moving expenses like deposits and first month rent.
Congregants of Statesboro First United Methodist Church responded to an appeal by Pastor Scott Hagan on Easter Sunday to give to ACTS to help these victims. These funds will be critical to helping them mange some future living expenses.
A storage facility next to the complex has been secured for donations of items they may need to furnish their homes.
They are asking for used clothing to be donated directly to Goodwill or Fostering Bulloch Hope Chest.
East Georgia Healthcare Center which operates Statesboro Pediatrics and Family Medicine in Statesboro, has offered to waive any health fees for the families who may need some medical care.
Open Hearts Community Mission is working to assist one of the families.
The victims of the fire have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the community. They are truly seeing our community at its best.
Any additional funds collected by Bulloch VOAD through CEDRC will be used to help assist the residents where they can.
Who is Coastal Empire Disaster Recovery Committee (CEDRC)
Bulloch County VOAD is an organization that helps prepare and meet the humanitarian needs of our community for three to five days in the event of a disaster. Bulloch VOAD has no paid employees, assets or even a checking account. They identify and coordinate resources available to a community through local businesses, churches and nonprofits in an disaster. They are also members of the Georgia VOAD and the National VOAD. This gives them knowledge and access to state and national resources.
Currently Bulloch VOAD does not have a long term recovery component. When they experience a need not in their toolbox they reach out to their network of partners. Due to the size of the Little Lotts Creek fire and the number of individuals needing assistance, no Bulloch County agency had the ability to take on this additional need.
For this reason, VOAD reached out to Coastal Empire Disaster Recovery Committee (CEDRC)
CEDRC, a 501c3, is a collaborative effort between faith-based, nonprofit and government agencies which work together to help communities in the Coastal Empire region through long term recovery.
CEDRC, like Bulloch VOAD was established after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. CEDRC brings the recovery expertise, financial accountability and management resources needed to help manage a disaster this large. The Little Lotts Creek Fire is the only active disaster CEDRC is working at this time. This ensures 100% of all funds contributed to CEDRC will be directed to meet the needs of the victims of the Statesboro fire.
In addition to the intake of contributions, CEDRC will administer all funds, provide financial reports and donor records. This provides an auditable account off all contributions and expenses.
“When you make a request to the community like this, we understand the importance of ensuring all funds are directed as quickly, efficiently and appropriately to the the victims with the greatest needs,” said DeWayne Grice, Chair, Bulloch VOAD. “This partnership with CEDRC allows that to happen in a way that protects the integrity of Bulloch VOAD and the donors.”