Local church collects donations for fire victims

ALBANY, N.Y. – A local church has been overwhelmed with
donations after a family lost all their belongings to a house fire.

St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Albany along with the
Bethlehem Lutheran Church have been collecting donations from the community for
the Kleinke family. Their home was completely destroyed by a fire Sunday

Five people were home at the time of the fire, including two
young girls. Everyone ran out the house with only the clothes on their backs.

“Everything that they had except for the clothes on their
back had been burned and lost in the fire, and so they are really needing to
start from scratch,” St. Matthews Pastor David Nuss said. “People have been
putting together a variety of things that I think they know the family will be

Donations of dishes, blankets, clothes, toys and baby items
have been coming in. The homeowner's daughter-in-law is nine months pregnant,
and all the items she received from her baby shower were also lost in the fire.

“Bigger items, like people have offered cribs and furniture and
beds and you name it are gonna be stored in a garage that we have empty on the
site, too,” Secretary Debbie Blair said.

Whatever the family can't use will be sold in a rummage sale
in April, and the proceeds will go to the family as well.

A benefit dinner is scheduled for Sunday, March 23 from 4 to
7 p.m. at the Nathaniel Adams Blanchard American Legion Post 1040. It is $10
per dinner and other donations are welcome.

Matthews Church is located at 75 Whitehall Rd. in Albany to drop off locations or
call (518) 436-8672.

need food, clothes, household items and monetary donations. Here are sizes
provided by the family:

  • Young Girls shoes size 3.5 and 13.
  • Men's Jeans 34/30
  • Men's Large t shirts and sweats
  • Women's pants or jeans size 10/12
  • Other women's clothing in Med. and or large
  • Infant boy clothes
  • Men's shoes /sneakers size 9 1/2 
  • Women's shoe sizes 8 and  61/2 – 7 
  • Also they have no bedding at all (sheets,blankets,
    pillows etc.)

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