The community has stepped up to aid a family in getting the supplies they need for the holidays after their Hinesville home was damaged by fire Tuesday.
Pamela Rogers and her three children were sharing the house with Rogers’ roommate and her four children.
Hinesville Child Care, where one of the children is enrolled, has received bundles of donations, including a dryer, said Jennifer Brinkley, the facility’s assistant director.
“Our center is not far from that home, and we saw the fire that day and I didn’t realize that the home was [where ]one of our students lives,” Brinkley said.
Before she could even send a flier out to notify other families with children at Hinesville Child Care, seven garbage bags of donated clothes were brought to the center for Rogers’ family, Brinkley said.
“We’ve had a lot of donations so far,” she said. “It is a real tragedy and we’re just thankful to be able to help in any way that we can.”
The fire broke out around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at 211 Bradwell St. across from the Liberty County Board of Education. A BoE groundskeeper spotted the blaze and called it in, according to a fire station report.
Although the case is still under investigation, authorities suspect the house was burglarized and set on fire, Hinesville Fire Department Capt. Chris Moss said.
The suspects stole Christmas and birthday presents, a television, house phone, computer and other items, before lighting the blaze, Moss said.
“It didn’t ruin the structure, but it burned out the contents of the living room and there was a small fire in the bedroom,” public information officer Capt. Kris Johanson said. “It wasn’t a lot of property damage.”
But it was enough to leave the children and their mothers without a home for the holidays.
Rogers’ husband, a soldier, is deployed to Afghanistan and only recently received news of the fire.
A member of the Bomber Girls, a military support organization comprised of female motorcyclists, found out about the fire through a news posting on Facebook and notified other club members, who brainstormed ways to help the family.
“When I learned of this family, burglarized and burned out just before Christmas, seven children and a deployed father, we just had to do something,” club member Shanon Clay said.
The Bomber Girls gathered for “Bike Night” on Thursday and collected $400 in a drawing to benefit the family.
The club already had scheduled an end-of-the-year party at Victory Lanes in Savannah on Friday, so members decided to expand on that and host a birthday party for two of the displaced children whose birthdays fell on that very same day.
Kroger donated a birthday cake for the celebration and fundraiser, Clay said.
Southern Customs Motors LLC and ABATE of Georgia District 11, a motorcyclists’ rights organization that serves Chatham, Bryan, Liberty, Effingham, Bulloch, Evans, Screven and Jenkins counties, both donated to the family, as did Sofa Connection and Tommy Eaton with the Army National Guard. Ephesus Church members donated clothing and food, and even Silly Dilly performed for free at the children’s birthday party.
Anyone who wants to make a donation can call the local American Red Cross office at 876-3975 or visit GeoVista Credit Union in Hinesville where an account has been set up for the family.
The family is staying on Fort Stewart until Dec. 22, Clay said.
“Many people have been very helpful with this effort, especially in this time of year and such short notice,” Clay said. “There has been a large community support effort going on, and it’s just amazing. I hope this lightens the burden off the family some and helps make this holiday season a little less bleak.”