ALBANY, N.Y. – It takes a long time to truly recover from a devastating fire, but with an overwhelming amount of donations coming in, a Slingerlands family is getting back on their feet.
Nine-year-old Emma Kleinke can go back to being a kid thanks to the donations coming in to St. Matthews Church in Albany. She and her sister will have toys to play with after all theirs were destroyed by the blaze.
Also lost in the fire were baby items. Their mom, Aimee, is nine-months-pregnant.
“It restores your faith in humanity,” Aimee said. “It really does, definitely.”
Aimee's husband, TJ, suffered burns in the fire. He is at the burn unit at Westchester Medical Center. It has fallen on his mom, Bonnie, to try to pull everything together with a lot of help from friends and even strangers.
“I am amazed at the outpouring and donations and people just concerned – offering everything, anything,” Bonnie said.
Books, clothes and diapers have piled up at the church. She was also told there's a garage in Warren County also filled with items. Bonnie said it was more than enough.
“The next day I hear of a woman, a 27-year-old woman, who lost her life and left a two-year-old child. Let's pay it forward, whatever we don't use, whatever we can't use, we'll give to the family who have lost because they are going through the same thing and have lost so much more,” she said. “We are blessed. We are still alive. We're still here. Yes, we lost everything physical, material. Yes, he's hurt, but he will survive.”
TJ may be released from the hospital next week. Hopefully, before the baby arrives.
Bonnie has placed Aimee and the kids at her other son's house, and Bonnie is currently staying at her mother-in-law's home.