Organized by: Rebecca Klinger
The Skinner family is a close-knit family of four from Clarendon Hills, IL. (They've asked we keep their first names anonymous.) June 1, 2015 had a nice family dinner on the agenda for the day followed by a week of fun activities since Mr. Skinner had just taken vacation time from work. Their daughter, a sophomore in high school, was studying and wrapping up studying for her high school finals and their son was at a friend's house. Around 4:30 in the afternoon, Mrs. Skinner and her daughter were having some quiet time and taking a break from studying when a neighbor began pounding on their door telling them, "GET OUT! GET OUT NOW!" Amidst confusion of the residents, Mrs. Skinner and her daughter drove to the corner of their complex, where they found out a fire had started in the walls of one of the units and was spreading fast. Forced to leave behind all their belongings, their beloved pets (a cat and a bird), and everything else, they found out after seven hours of waiting for the fire to be put out/inspections to be done (and after finally making it to a hotel for the evening), the damage to their unit was extensive and they'd have to move. It seems work was being done in another unit, and one of the walls in the unit undergoing repairs had been opened to fix plumbing pipes. The contractor used a blowtorch, not realizing the insulation in the walls would go up in flames and the fire would spread rapidly from unit to unit within the walls. The resulting fire included injuries to several people, including the contractor and two firefighters injured when the roof collapsed. The situation looks to now be a total loss of the building and all tenants'/owners' possessions within the building. The Skinners have to find new housing, replace everything from clothing to furniture, and more. The Skinner pets made it out of the fire alive but are still stuck in the condo, breathing in smoky air. The week of fun they'd had planned to spend together while Mr. Skinner is on vacation has since been converted to a full-time housing search and bouncing from one hotel to the next. They're rapidly running out of funds having to pay for hotel accommodations night-to-night and hadn't anticipated having to do so. How do you prepare for losing everything you own and the home you rent? Our goal is to get the Skinner family back on their feet. We're fundraising for this awesome family so they can begin to replace lost clothing and basic necessities for the family, furniture, and get them settled in a new rental home. No family should have to be homeless and bouncing around, especially not because of the negligence of others.