WILSONVILLE, OR (KPTV) - It’s been nearly two weeks since a massive fire ripped through the Villebois neighborhood in Wilsonville and investigators have yet to reveal a cause.
But, donations to help those affected have poured in from neighbors and local businesses. Organizers said they’ve raised roughly $30,000 and they are ready to start writing checks to the fire victims.
Chanelle Walters, who owns Lux Sucre Desserts in Wilsonville, was one of the community members who helped raise money for those affected.
“We hit the ground running and did a bake sale two days later,” She told FOX 12.
But Walters believes she, along with many of her neighbors, jumped in without considering how they would later distribute the money.
She told FOX 12 the process was complicated.
“There’s not just one family that’s been affected, there’s multiple,” Walters said. “We have a business that we’re also running while doing this.”
Within hours of the fire, that according to Tualatin Fire and Rescue burned more than 20 condos, Wilsonville City Councilor Ben West created a GoFundMe account for those who were displaced.
Walters told FOX 12 when she learned of the GoFundMe account, she pooled the money her business raised with those from the crowdfunding platform. Many other businesses, including Vanguard Brewing, Biscuits Café and Quench Taproom did the same, according to Walters and West.
West said the group opened a collective account through an existing non-profit, which took time. And while he understands those affected by the fire may be anxious to receive help, the committee had to ensure the process was done right.
“I thought, we need a safe, transparent, equitable structure," he said.
They established a subcommittee under the existing non-profit, Brews For Community and obtained legal counsel.
A lawyer helped the Villebois Crisis Fund Committee draft an application letter for affected families to verify they lost property in the fire and determine their level of need.
“It’s been less than two weeks and now we’re ready to write checks,” West said.
He told FOX 12 the board is currently receiving financial support applications. There is no deadline to fill one out.
They group will meet Sunday to vote on the applications received, based on the family’s need. West said they’re hoping to cut the first donation checks Monday.
To apply for help, email email@example.com, or call Ben West at 503-880-2559.
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