The Town of West New York is coming together to help the 41 families impacted by a four-alarm fire at The Orient and the Borinquen Bodega on Madison Street last week, launching GoFundMe pages, a clothing drive, and more.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
At least three GoFundMe pages have been launched, with the most successful thus far being the fundraising effort to help the parents of Kristen Martinez.
“I am so thankful they are safe and with me, however, they must now start from scratch and relocate from the home I grew up in and they have lived in for over 30 years,” the page description says.
“Anything you may be able to help with, my family and I would be tremendously appreciate. Thank you all.”
The effort, which is seeking to aid their relocation and replace all of their belongings, has raised $4,920 towards their $10,000 goal as of this writing.
Another page, organized by Katherine Guenther for her friend, Guido Lazo, his sister Norma, and her two children, notes that the residential building will be demolished and they lost everything in the blaze.
They have raised $1,550 to date and have set an ultimate goal of $5,000.
The third page, organized by Freddy Donado for his friends Elizabeth and Manuel, has also set a $5,000 goal and has raised $490 thus far.
“All of their personal belongings are gone. I am asking for your help. This tragic fire has displaced over 40 families, and it’s genuinely heartbreaking,” he wrote in the page description.
“Your kind donations will help get Manuel and Elizabeth into a new apartment ahead of these harsh cold winter months and also through the holidays. Funds will also go towards their essentials, shoes, clothes, furniture, etc. Without insurance, none of these items were covered by this traumatic and tragic loss.”
On Sunday, hundreds of people showed up to the West New York Little League Field (the little league organized the event) to donate clothing to those in need.
Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, who is expected to run for state Assembly next year, and Public Affairs Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo, a declared mayoral challenger for May, both expressed their thoughts on the situation via Instagram.
“The past few days have proven that West New York is a community that sticks together. We’re more than a town, we’re a family. A special thank you to our WNY Little League for offering your facilities and staff to help with the overwhelming amount of donations!,” Rodriguez said in a video posted on the town’s page.
“Great job by the Little League Board for organizing this and a huge thank you to our Police and Fire organizations for their generous donations. Another huge thank you to our @memorialhighschool Athletes, Coaches and Principal for being there to help. Let’s continue to keep our neighbors in our prayers as we continue to find ways to help them,” Cirillo wrote.
Additionally, in conjunction with the North Hudson Rotary Club, Cirillo is hosting a happy hour at Social 59, located at 512 59th St., on Thursday between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. with a minimum donation of $50 suggested.
All proceeds will be donated to the fire victims, a flyer for the event explains.