Our family suffered a devastating house fire this past February 20 in the Glenwood section of Vernon. More than two months later we are still in shock and disbelief and still find ourselves walking in circles not knowing what to do next. You never think something like this will happen to you and your family. The pain of the loss of our dog Lenny, the family heirlooms and old photos lost forever will be with us for the rest of our lives.
Although we lost so much in the fire, we are thankful and grateful to so many who reached out to us in our time of need. We would like to thank and acknowledge the following:
First, we give thanks to God for we know how fortunate and lucky we are to have escaped the fire with our lives and unharmed. This was close to being so much more tragic for us than it already is.
We wish to give thanks and our gratitude to the following: the firemen who left the safety of their own homes to come to our house in our time of need to put the fire out and risking your own personal safety, we can’t thank you enough and truly appreciate all that you do for your community; the other first responders who came and offered their assistance and kind words and advice we thank you; neighbors who offered kind words and endured the chaos of that night we can’t thank you enough; our family and friends who took us in and gave us comfort, collecting clothes and organizing charitable donations; Mountain Creek for helping us find temporary housing and making sure our daughters got new ski passes immediately; Mac and Lindy’s for allowing our friends to put a donation box in your business for our family and your kind donation; St Francis De Sales who collected donations for us at mass and to our fellow parishioners who donated money; Prince of Peace Lutheran Church who donated a portion of their monthly offerings and helped our daughters have something on Easter; Vernon Youth Football and Cheer for your kind donation for our daughters; West Milford PBA who donated gift cards and money, I can’t thank my brother and sister officers enough; West Milford Elks Lodge who donated money, my father is extremely proud of the organization he has been a member of for decades; family, friends and strangers who donated your hard earned money and offered words of support you will never know how much what you said, did and gave to us meant; lastly our neighbors Ken and Heather Artsma, for being there with us as this tragic event unfolded and for the help, support and assistance you’ve given, we are so grateful to have neighbors such us you.
If we missed any organizations we apologize. Understand the chaos of the last months has been nonstop and dizzying at times and we mean no disrespect to anyone.
To all of you, we are forever grateful and thankful for what you did for us in our darkest hour of need. Please know that it is not in our nature to accept help, but when you have nothing but the clothes on your backs and the vehicles we were able to move, you learn to put your foolish pride aside and accept the help that is given to you.
We will rebuild the house we lived in since 2009 and make it better than it was before.
Not that we needed to be reminded, but we truly do live in a great caring town. You truly can’t spell community without unity.
Joe, Michele, Alyssa, Kaitlyn and Lyndsey