White Pigeon community stands united

Donation sites, grief counselors available following fatal house fire

WHITE PIGEON — The White Pigeon community continues to mourn following a tragic fire that took two lives, injured seven, and destroyed a family’s belongings early Tuesday morning.
A pregnant woman and a seven-year-old first-grader who attended Central Elementary School perished in the fire, and the community has a desire to help. A close friend to the family, Misty Vosters, said the family is temporarily staying at a family member’s residence, but “we need to find them a home.”
“People don’t realize how much they lost. We needed backpacks for the kids. Cellphones were left in the house,” she said. “(…) All of these donations are insane and the people are so great and phenomenal to help, but we need to find them a home.”
Many local businesses, organizations, and community members are accepting donations to benefit the family. Biggby Coffee in White Pigeon is accepting cash donations, and has offered to match any donations they receive. Morris Motor Sports, also in White Pigeon, is accepting items, such as non-perishable food and hygiene products, as well as cash or gift cards.
Central Elementary School has grief counselors “available at anytime,” Principal Shelly McBride said. When tragedy strikes, counselors from school districts across the county travel to offer their assistance. On Tuesday and Wednesday, McBride said three grief counselors were at the school, and received a lot of attention from students.
“We have some very sad information to discuss this morning. A Central Elementary student died unexpectedly at his home in a fire. We know that this comes as a shock to all of you, and most of us will be very sad during the day today. We have lots of supportive adults here today to help if you need to talk to anyone or have any questions. Feeling sad and upset and having questions is completely normal,” said a statement read to students on Tuesday.
A message given to students to take home to their families included attachments for “helpful hints for recovery” and “signs and symptoms of stress.”
McBride mentioned that the Haven in White Pigeon and the Mottville Community Church may also be collecting donations, but the Commercial-News was unable to confirm by press time Wednesday.
Samantha May can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 23 or sam@threeriversnews.com

Three Rivers Commercial-News

124 North Main Street
Box 130
Three Rivers, MI 49093

Telephone: 269-279-7488
Fax: 269-279-6007
General email: info@threeriversnews.com

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