UPDATED NEEDS 12/25/20: The Jackson's are now focused on household items, pillows, towels, cookware. Mom needs personal items like bras (40c). The family would appreciate Amazon gift cards to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to everyone's generosity, the children were provided with plenty of clothing, shoes, toys.
Yesterday and this morning I spent time talking to the incredible people who were affected by or responded in one way or another to the horrific fire that destroyed the Jackson family's apartment on Judson and Dempster early yesterday morning.
Though the Jackson's home and all their belongings were completely destroyed, the Jacksons -- Mayra, Latwian, and their boys Jordan, 9, and Nicholas, 4, made it out of the apartment in time.
The conversations I had with Mayra and the Evanstonians who helped them yesterday filled me with such an appreciation for the group of strangers that pulled together to support the family, and the incredible resilience of the Jacksons themselves, that I will write and post the whole story as soon as I can.
As Evanston Police Department Victim Services social worker Ariel Jackson said, "It was really an example of 'Evanston Strong.'"
In the meantime, the main headlines:
1. The Jackson family is safe and staying at Mayra’s sister Ivette for now, but they have immediate needs (clothes, shoes, medications, toys for the kids) and will also need all our support to help them get a roof of their own over their heads and get back on their feet as soon as possible.
2. Evanston resident Jill Miller, who was driving by the apartment on her way to work just as the flames roared through the apartment window, took the family under her wing, into her car, and then to her apartment.
3. Jill and Ivette, along with Stephen Klava, a software developer and also an Evanston resident, set up a Klava Fund, which you can download to your phone right now and then use #JacksonFamilyFirefund in order to donate. You can also use your phone camera to read the QR code in the photo below. It takes seconds to donate on Klava Fund!
They need a LOT of help, so please be as generous as you're able.
4. As always, the Evanston Fire Department came through to extinguish the fire. It was extinguished within 10 minutes of the initial call.
5. Victim Services' Ariel Jackson arrived on the scene to walk the family through reaching the Red Cross and the rest of the maze that presents itself following this kind of event.
6. An Evanston Police Department Officer, whose name I don't yet have permission to share, immediately reached out to friends and fraternity brothers and came back later with toys for the kids and cash for the parents.
7. This year has been a particularly tough one all around for the Jackson family: in January, Mayra fell and severely broke her foot, leading to five months in a nursing home. This was extremely hard on her kids, especially nine-year-old Jordan who is autistic. The Jacksons adopted Jordan when he was born. Nicholas, who is Jordan's biological brother, was born five years later and the Jackson's are in the process of adopting him. Mayra, who makes beautiful art, lost all of it--and her art supplies. And, Mayra and her sister have been working hard to launch their cake-pop business, "Cake Pop and Roll," and Mayra lost all her equipment in the fire.
They are so appreciate everyone's kindness and help.