On September 13, 2018 the lives of hundreds of families were uprooted as gas fires and explosions began blazing up throughout the greater Lawrence community. Homes were destroyed and lives changed forever, but in this time of great strife, many members of the Lawrence community took on the call of duty and rose up to meet the enormous challenge this tragedy presented. Our own Lawrence Family Resource Center was among those supporting the residents impacted by the fires in the Merrimack Valley during and after the disaster.
The Lawrence FRC deployed an emergency response team the Sunday after the gas explosions to the Arlington School, which was designated as the emergency response site. The FRC staff worked with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross, and provided families with emotional support and information on where to get more help. The FRC team helped individuals fill out applications for disaster relief checks, assessed and provided resource and referral information to individuals with other needs, distributed $100 to $500 gift cards donated by the Essex County Community Foundation to families, provided families with basic needs such as food, diapers, formula, clothing, and blankets, and more. It was a true community response.
Learn more about the entire community's efforts to come together in the face of disaster in this video from the Essex County Community Foundation.