BALCH SPRINGS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Donations of new clothing, food and gift cards started stacking up Tuesday in Balch Springs as community members jumped in to assist more than two dozen households.
Employees at Sharing Life Community Outreach, where the city directed donations, said it was their largest disaster response since the 2021 winter freeze. It also presented a different need, with families needing not just food or financial assistance, but even basics like new underwear and socks, after the fire destroyed some homes entirely.
Children's toys, books and games were also on the list, something the organization usually doesn't have on hand outside of the Christmas season.
Chaun Allen said she pulled all the clothing out her closet that still had tags on it, and went shopping for baby items, before stopping by the small facility.
"Because it could be me," she said. "These are my neighbors and these are my brothers keepers. I love all of these people."
Teresa Jackson, the CEO of Sharing Life said she expected financial donations to provide for hotel rooms, and gift cards for restaurants would also be valued, until homeowners could determine what insurance companies would cover.
"Most of the folks that were in yesterday's fire are families, and they have children," she said. "And we want to make sure we are well prepared to meet their needs."
Jackson said the organization has already been experiencing unprecedented demand for rent and utility assistance. Donated items not immediately needed by victims of the fire, she said would absolutely be utilized somewhere else in the community.
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