SUMMIT, NJ - The Hilltop City is not immune to tragedy and misfortune, as those circumstances are indifferent to zip codes, times of year and other personal parameters.
Fortunately for the victims of such events, the Summit community is literally at its best when things are at their most challenging and, after a December 26 fire gutted a duplex on Weaver Street -- claiming virtually everything the occupants owned and leaving them homeless -- the town has again responded.
Summit's Other Fellow First Foundation -- as it has done countless times -- stepped forward to assist the victims and established a GoFundMe site, a fundraising effort that, in less than 24 hours since its creation, has reached $52,385.
In addition, other tales of compassion and contribution are emerging, including the offer of furniture from a Summit resident who recently downsized.
The December 26 fire at 20 Weaver Street burned the Ramirez family out of their home and claimed everything they own. Martha and Pedro Ramirez have lived in Summit for 40 years and are parishioners of St. Teresa of Avila Church. Pedro Ramirez is a graduate of Summit High School. Michael and Samantha Uribe, their nephew and niece, as well as three other individuals, were also living in the home and find themselves homeless as well.
In addition, several of the victims remain hospitalized with injuries sustained during the fire.
"Summit has reinforced that it is a remarkable town full of wonderful, compassionate people, and we are ever-so-thankful for the outpouring of support," said Other Fellow First Foundation Director Brett Haire. "This is a very difficult situation, and we need to keep the GoFundMe momentum going and encourage everyone to donate or, if they have already done so, share the fundraising link with those in their social network."
To access the fundraising page, visit gofundme.com/f/summit-family-burned-out-of-their-home.
Haire added, "Of equal importance, the occupants of the home also have immediate needs, as the fire took all that they had. We are asking the community to help with this 'wish list' of personal items and necessities. In addition, gift cards to household goods retailers such as Target, Walmart and mattress stores will be a huge help."
GIFT CARDS can be dropped off to whomever is behind the cash register at the SUMMIT DINER (located at 1 Union Place).
PERSONAL ITEMS need can be dropped off in the MAIN LOBBY of ST. TERESA CHURCH (located at 306 Morris Avenue) during daytime hours through New Year's Eve.
To see a list of what others in the community have committed to donated -- in order to avoid duplication -- a SignUpGenius page has been created by a community member. It can be accessed by visiting signupgenius.com/go/4090448A4AC2FA57-weaver.
This 'wish list' of personal items includes:
Ramirez family needs: four adults, ages 62, 60 and two 25 year old children
2 twin bed sheets
2 twin blankets
2 twin comforters
Full/Queen Comforter sets/bedding
Iron & iron board
pots & pans
Hats, Scarfs, Gloves
2 men winter jacket size Large
Snow boots/rain boots size 8 & 12 for women & size 11.5 & 12 for Men Cell phone chargers Samsung & I phone USBC
Tenants needs: 3 adult males 25year-olds
Men's winter jacket Size Large & 2 size Medium
Jeans Size 34x30 & (2) 32x30
black sneakers size 9.5, 8 & 9
gloves, scarfs & hats
Head & Shoulders shampoo & conditioner Bath Dove for Me
deodorant old spice
3 wallets black
3 sets of twin sheets
3 twin size comforter sets