“My Home Was on Fire, and My Little Sister Had Been Burned”

“My Home Was on Fire,

and My Little Sister Had Been Burned”


[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]I heard about the Hug Fund at work and immediately thought that the fund was something I would never need. It was honestly something I didn’t really pay much attention to. When you hear about other people’s stories, you think to yourself, “Something catastrophic will never happen to me or my family.” However, I am here to tell you that something catastrophic did happen to me and my family, and my little sister bears the scars of that catastrophic event.[/text_block]

I live with my parents and my 16-year-old sister. My family and I share financial responsibilities. It’s a “group effort,” and together we are able to make ends meet.

I was at work when I got a panicked called from my mother telling me that our home was on fire, and my sister had been burned. My mother was visiting my grandmother at the time, so I left work, picked up my mom, and we headed straight for the hospital. It never occurred to us to go to our home…we just had to see if my sister was okay. Well, she wasn’t okay.

Fifty percent of my little sister’s body was covered in burns. She would face months of painful treatments, infections and excruciating pain. My sister and I are very close, and she was critically ill. I felt depressed, upset and worried, constantly.

[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]We found out later that a natural gas explosion started the fire at our apartment complex. The explosion, fire, smoke and water destroyed our home and all of our belongings. We didn’t have insurance, and we didn’t have the money to buy the things we needed. My family was hit hard by this tragedy. Not only were we concerned about my sister, we were also worried about how we were going to afford a new place to live and buy clothing and other necessity items. We had to take time off from work to be with my sister at the hospital, and that made our financial situation even worse.

But then I remembered the Hug Fund, and I knew what to do. Upon applying for assistance and hearing my grant was approved, the Hug Fund helped me buy clothing and other necessary items so I could move forward. My family found a new apartment, and we began to slowly recover. My sister is home now. Due to her injuries and the healing process, she is home-schooled. She continues to improve every day. It will take time, but she will get better, and we will work hard to replace our belongings.

The most important thing is that my family is alive and I know, firsthand, that there are people out there who still help one another. I know this because my fellow HCR ManorCare coworkers who give to the Hug Fund, care for me and my family.[/text_block]