By Nancy Edwards
Efforts from generous neighbors in a local housing division have turned an otherwise disastrous event into a blessing.
Last month, three homes in Sandstone Village’s subdivision were destroyed due to a fire that originated in one of the homes. The fire spread to one house on the east side and one to the west.
Residents were suddenly without any belongings: no clothes, shoes, electrical appliances, food, mattresses, furniture – or a house.
Resident Pam Ohlemiller and her 9-year-old daughter, Grace, drove around the homes in disbelief.
“Mom, we have to help these people,” Grace said to her mother.
The next day, Grace asked to stop by the damaged homes to see if any of the residents were there and to find out what they needed.
They stopped by what was left of Robin Griger’s rented house to find Griger standing there.
“She had been at work (when the fire spread) and came back in her work clothes; she had no other clothes left,” Ohlemiller said.
Ohlemiller dug out some DSW gift cards she had received for her recent birthday and gave them to Griger.
“I told her ‘go buy some shoes’ and we will collect a list of what’s needed and see what we can do,” Ohlemiller said.
A few neighbors assisted with the efforts, donating clothes for Griger to wear to work. Sandstone Village’s Homeowners Association began an account for the residents and neighbors are continuing to assist with money and gift cards.
Griger, who has two children, said she has been inspired by the generosity of her neighbors.
“Grace and Pam have just been wonderful,” she said. “We’ve received gift cards and lots and lots of clothes. My kids are musicians, their (new) instruments were donated and that was really important.”
A second fundraising drive will begin before the holidays for toys, gift cards and other items, according to Ohlemiller. In the meantime, Griger’s family and other families affected by the fire are still in need of money and gift cards. For more information or questions about donating, visit www.sandstonehoa.com.
Robin Griger wishes to give credit for the assistance received from the following local companies and nonprofits: The Red Cross, Heartland Church, Harvest Bible Chapel North Indy, HWC Engineering, Bongo Boy Music Center and Piano Solutions.