Community members to host benefit for fire victims - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM


Community members to host benefit for fire victims

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(Western Mass News file photo) (Western Mass News file photo)

We have a follow-up to a Springfield man who has taken it upon himself to collect donations for families impacted by the Belmont Avenue fire back in March.

Now that man, along with other community members in Springfield, are holding a benefit this weekend where families can pick-up clothes and other supplies they need.  

It was just two months ago when disaster struck the Belmont Avenue community after an apartment building burst into flames.

The fire claimed the lives of a father and his two young children and forced 60 to 80 people out of their homes.

It was at that moment when Keno White decided to do something for the families now left with nothing.

"I was emotional about it and figured why not just reach out to them, reach out to everybody that was affected by these fires and lift each other up," White said.

So White started collecting for his organization 'Keno's Kids' - driving across the city and beyond, collecting more than 2,500 items for the families.

"I want to thank the community for donating and being a part of what we were doing.  We couldn't do it without them," White added.

Today, White is working hand-in-hand with the Pioneer Valley Project, preparing for this Sunday's benefit for the fire victims.

"Pants, shirts, shorts, sneakers.  There's purses, there's curtains, blankets, pillows, all kind of things here to help them get back on track," White explained.

Families can grab as much as they need.  

This isn't just for the Belmont Avenue families either.  White told Western Mass News that any family experiencing hardship can come by.

Sunday is about building a better community, one step at a time.

"Even in a tragedy, we still have to support each other, so this is an opportunity for the community to come together and do something good," said Paul Lumpkin with the Pioneer Valley Project.

The benefit will run Sunday at the South Congregational Church on Maple Street.

Fire victims are welcome from 2 to 3:30 p.m., while other members of the community are welcome from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

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