Church of God Raises Funds for a Family Victim of a House Fire
The night of January 28th was a cold one for the Panday family of Valley Stream, Long Island. Not only were temperatures below freezing in the midst of the coldest winter New York has seen in some time, but all of their belongings and their home perished in a house fire.
It took about 100 firefighters from three departments to battle the blaze. Their home was completely destroyed and the family was left with nothing.
Within a few days, the community united to support the family of four, including their kindergarten daughter and third-grade son. First responder members of the World Mission Society Church of God were among those who immediately took action.
Church volunteers prepared two backpacks full of supplies and lunch bags for the two children, one of who attends the same school as one of the Church children. In just one week, the volunteers organized an ice cream and hot cocoa fundraiser and, together with the school’s PTA president, invited thousands of community members and parents to support the cause.
With tickets selling for $10 for adults and $5 children, volunteers were able to sell a few hundred tickets in days leading to the fundraiser.
Although that Sunday’s forecast did not look promising, volunteers wholeheartedly believed that God would open the way for sunny skies. About 70 guests attended the fundraiser throughout the day. The Floral Park Fire Department also hosted a 30-minute demonstration on fire safety for families.
With a fire starting every 15 seconds, the Fire Chief urged families to leave their houses and call the fire department whenever they smell a funny odor at home. The Fire Chief was moved by the unity of the different departments in putting this particular fire out. He explained that before the events of 9/11, fire departments did not call on each other for help.
Church members were moved to hear this because unity is one of the core teachings of Heavenly Mother. And this fundraiser was only made possible through the unity of the volunteers, the school system, the community and the fire departments.
Through this event, the volunteers were able to bring the Panday family a piece of hope and happiness. Throughout the day, children enjoyed face painting (with butterflies being a favorite), three different ice cream flavors with about 20 different toppings, fresh popcorn, hot cocoa, and even a clown sharing laughs with everyone. Some of the featured performances included a tap dancer, a rendition of the Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World” and a few Elvis Presley classics for parents to enjoy.
By the end of the day, they were able to raise $1,600 for the Panday family. The family did not expected the community to come together in such unity for complete strangers. The family was deeply moved and now looks forward to also giving back to the community as the community has given to them. This is the love that Heavenly Mother hopes to share with the world.