A fire in a building at Giddings and Washtenaw on March 2, 2011 changed forever the lives of three Lyman A. Budlong Elementary School families. However, in the midst of this tragic situation, community members have come together as a community to make their lives a little easier.
The three families and their collective seven Budlong children lost not only their homes but also their furniture, books, clothing and most, if not all, of their possessions. After learning of the disaster, their fellow classmates began finding ways to help.
Liza Reed, Counselor at the Budlong School, has spearheaded the school’s efforts and aided the cause of students who wanted to help out the families. “We have such a good community [at Budlong School]. We rally together when tough times happen,” she said.
Students and staff have been creative in their efforts to help. One group held a bake sale to raise money for the families. Others went around to classrooms collecting donations of money, furniture and more. In total, the staff and community members at Budlong have raised approximately $1,000 in the past three weeks for the families.
“Our office was able to donate new uniforms and school supplies to them so that school, at least, can be a normal place for them during this time,” said Ms. Reed.
The cause of the fire and the safety of the building itself have been the subject of much speculation in the community as previously reported in the Bulldog. Ms. Reed said that the families are staying with friends and family members during this transition time and are currently searching for new places of residence.