Displaced families receive help from community

Residents and families displaced by a recent fire at the Fairington Village Apartments in Stonecrest were provided with funds and holiday resources Dec. 18 by American Red Cross, CVS, Ludacris Foundation, and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

Representatives from New Birth said 18 residents jumped from the burning building—some sustaining minor and major injuries; 30 individuals were displaced because of fire, smoke and water damage to some units.

The affected residents and their families met with the community coalition at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Stonecrest and received $1,000, gift baskets, sanitation supplies, food and other resources to help them through the holidays.

“When you think you’re all alone and going through things this horrific and unforeseen, and then you get a community that comes together and they show you love; you just know that there’s a God that watches over you,” said Serena Pierce, a resident displaced by the fire. “No matter how bad it is, it’s not that bad and you can get through it. I’m grateful.”

Ludacris Foundation President Roberta Shields said Christopher Bridges—known by his stage name Ludacris—was motivated to help after seeing news reports of the fire.

“Your heart drops. Kids were being dropped out of windows, but there were many heroes in this story.  Today we just want to make smiles happen,” said Shields. “We did a gift basket … We’re doing a $100 [Publix] gift certificate, and we are also writing the families a check. Each family is going to get a $500 check.”

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Senior Pastor Jamal Bryant said ministry officials matched the donation with an extra $500 check and boxes of food to each family; local CVS employees donated cleaning goods and hygiene products.

Children and teenagers in attendance received gifts from the Ludacris Foundation. Ministry officials also invited the firefighters who responded to the call at Fairington Village Apartments and honored them for their work.

“This past week we experienced a major disaster. This event today proves that the community comes together and together we can address these families that are in need,” said The American Red Cross Disaster Action Team Coordinator Mike Richardson. “It’s a point of pride, and I hope you all take pride in the efforts of the community that reaches out to folks who had a disaster.”

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