On New Year’s Day, a deadly fire in Holyoke left dozens of families homeless after flames consumed a 5-story apartment building on North East Street.
Now, months later, families are still trying to pick up the pieces, and a teacher in Holyoke has asked for the Surprise Squad’s help for one student directly impacted by that fire.
“One of my friends texted me and said your house is one fire. I thought it was a joke at first,” said Lilly.
More than 4 months later, nominations are still rolling in for Holyoke fire victims. So today, Surprise Squad bought some necessities for one named Lilly.
“I lost most of my stuff because the water-- my ceiling, everything fell. And I lost almost all of my stuff.”
Harold Casey, assistant teacher at Donahue School in Holyoke, wrote to Western Mass News asking for new clothes and shoes for 13-year-old Lilly Streciwilk.
“Kids have enough on their minds with MCAS scores, going to college next year-- they don’t need a fire in their house. So this is what we came up with and you know what. Channel 40 are the people that still care, thank you so much!”
And with the help of the Lia Auto Group and a nice discount from target, the Surprise Squad bought Lilly every item of clothing she may need.
After the loss of everything, except her family and her cat. A new wardrobe is much deserved for a very special and hardworking student.
“She gets along with everybody. When that happened, it’s a tragedy, because you don’t think it’ll happen to you. She’s been pretty good. She’s hanging in there and she hasn’t missed school. Pretty amazing,” said Casey.
Even after being left with nothing, Lilly appreciates what she has and said she doesn't really need much more.
“You need clothes and stuff, but I don’t really think you need things. I really just stick with what I got. I work with it. I never really had a lot of things before, so it’s just, you know, same old,” said Lilly.
Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.