Help for victims of Bellefonte fire

Our hearts go out to those affected by the fire at the Do De Hotel on Sunday in Bellefonte. We’re glad everyone got out safely and we give thanks to our Centre Region firefighters for spending hours Sunday morning putting out the blaze.

As the Centre Daily Times reports, the fire left the building’s owner in disbelief and the building’s tenants without a home. Luckily, we have a number of organizations in Centre County that are dedicated to helping people through this kind of trauma.

The local American Red Cross chapter and FaithCentre are two of the local groups who were on the scene Sunday and continue to help people deal with this unexpected event.

The Red Cross Centre Communities Chapter is currently housing individuals displaced by the fire, but local organizations are looking for a more long-term solution.

“Most of the displaced are low-income single men,” which makes it especially difficult to find alternate housing for them, said Nicole Summers, of FaithCentre. Summers encourages individuals who have extra rooms they would be willing to rent out cheaply to contact them.

Both the Red Cross and FaithCentre are accepting monetary donations that will be used to find housing and pay for food, clothing, medicine or other needs.

Local Red Cross Chapter Executive Virginia Brown said the Red Cross is an important source for local help because “we can provide immediate cash assistance to help meet emergency disaster-caused needs.” Donations for the Red Cross should be earmarked for disaster relief and sent to American Red Cross, 205 E. Beaver Avenue, Suite 203, State College, PA 16801.

FaithCentre has partnered with the 3WZ radio station, at 863 Benner Pike, in State College, to collect needed items such as sheets, towels, socks, unused toiletries, gift cards and monetary donations. Donations to FaithCentre should be marked for “fire victims” and dropped off at 3WZ or sent to FaithCentre, 110 W. High Street, Bellefonte, PA 16823.

Know of any other initiatives that have been created to help people affected by the fire? Let us know in the comments.


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