More than $5,000 has been raised for the victim of a fire in Magnolia last week, and the organizer of the crowdfunding campaign is hoping the community continues to come through in the weeks to come.
In the early morning hours of July 13, crews were called to the scene of an apartment fire in the 3800 block of 34th Avenue West. While firefighters were able to put out the flames within about a half-hour of their arrival, the fire landed Nancy Hoffman in the intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center.
When one of Hoffman’s friends, Rochelle Clark, got the news, she knew she wanted to help in some way. She just wasn’t sure how.
“I just felt completely helpless in terms of being able to do something for her,” she said.
But after posting to the Nextdoor Magnolia site asking for people to keep her in their thoughts and prayers, others thought of another way to help: A GoFundMe page.
“In my shock and grief, I never even considered that,” said Clark, who has known Hoffman for nearly 20 years. “It wasn’t in my though process of that even existing.”
For now, Clark has set a goal of $50,000 for the page to assist Hoffman, who did not have renter’s insurance.
Hoffman lost at least two of her three cats, but her dog — a Tibetan Spaniel named Miss Kitty — survived the fire, and is out of the hospital and being fostered during her recovery. “Nancy’s Fund,” has been set up at Crown Hill Pet Supply to provide the foster owner with financial assistance for food and supplies.
Meanwhile Metropolitan Market in Magnolia is also coordinating fundraising efforts, and Strand’s Home Furnishings in Monroe has offered to donate furniture.
For Clark, the page is a chance to make at least some kind of impact for someone that she refers to as “nanny Nancy,” for the way she would care for her pets when she was on vacation.
“I felt that in some small way I could at least contribute to help her rebuild her life when she’s able to do that,” Clark said.
Clark described Hoffman as a “strongly opinionated woman,” but with a sweet personality and a very soft heart.
“She puts everybody before herself, and she wants to help,” Clark said. “She just has a loving, compassionate heart.”
Hoffman was moved out of the ICU on Sunday, but the road to recovery is a long one.
As she works to get back to health, the hope is that local residents will continue to donate to give her a financial launchpad after losing nearly everything.
“I’m really just full of gratitude that the community has stepped up, and people that I don’t even know are contributing and posting beautiful thoughts, kind words, and compassion and sending prayers,” she said.
To contribute to the crowdfunding campaign, go to www.gofundme.com/2easyxg.