We told you all about Rachel Dolan Wickersham, the doula who lost her home in a fire (seen at left with her family), and asked you to help us help her rebuild by commenting. We would give Rachel $1 per comment, up to $1,000. We hit 1,000 comments in a mere 32 hours! Through independent donation, almost two hundred of you have helped her immensely as well. You are AMAZING!
I was lucky enough to be able to talk to Rachel to check up on how she and her family are doing in this difficult time, and also to let her know what you all helped us do for her and get her response, including responses to some of your comments as well. Here is a note from Rachel ....
Thank you so incredibly much!
We feel incredibly lucky. It is the word that just keeps coming up again and again. Luckily, we have a rental property that my parents had just moved out of, so we were able to move into it. There was even some furniture there.
I have seen some of the comments, though it is very late and I'm unable to read through all of them. I did see the offer for new equipment. Unbelievably, my birth gear was all in my car instead of just inside the house door where it usually stays. Had it been there, it would have been destroyed.
My 21-year-old was home for Thanksgiving with two friends staying over -- so I had all my daughters here and two extra daughters. She and they lost a lot less because a lot of their possessions are up at school in Minnesota. All of my eldest daughter's childhood and high school possessions were in the attic and were destroyed. Jim, my husband, is a woodworker and lost all his tools in the garage that was destroyed. Basement was filled with 10 feet of water from 5 hours of firefighters struggling to put out the fire.
Though we lost almost all of our personal property, we are lucky that we have been able to fish through the rubble and I found my grandmother's pearls and some of her china completely okay. Also some of my client files are amazingly intact. We are struggling right now with the insurance company and the outcome is uncertain, but the community support has been wonderful.
We all have a little bit of PTSD I think ... thinking, "What if i had done this, what if i had ..." but we all feel so lucky. Our fridge is full from gifts and the community has come out with clothing and blankets and emotional support. It's felt like Christmas for the girls as they open up boxes of clothing donations. We have enough soap and deodorant and toothbrushes to last a year.
We are struggling with feeling a little guilty because we know we are a lot luckier than most people who lose their homes and we are just so incredibly grateful for everything that has been done to support and help us. Please know we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Thank you all so much for helping Rachel, and helping us help her. I can only hope that if any of us suffers a tragedy, god forbid, we can all be so lucky as to have the amazing support that Rachel has had, that you all were a part of.
Image via Rachel Dolan Wickersham