Some residents of Glenwood Towers — 21 of them, to be exact — still can’t return home nearly three weeks after a fire tore through the ninth floor of the Raleigh apartment complex.
Now several organizations and non-profits in Glenwood South are working together to collect donations of food, household items, and furniture for the fire victims who lost everything.
Paulette Blakey lives in the apartment directly next to the unit where the fire started on Oct. 26. She said she was putting her grandson down for a nap when she heard the smoke alarms.
“I don’t know what made me go to the door, but I started seeing smoke billowing through my door and I said, ‘We have to get out of here,'” Blakey said.
Blakey quickly got the 3-year-old dressed, and the pair scrambled down nine flights of stairs to safety. She is one of the 21 residents currently staying in a Raleigh hotel.
“There are times when I say, ‘I have this at home, I have that at home.’ And then I say, ‘Hmm, I don’t have a home,'” Blakey said.
During the fire, dozens of Glenwood Towers residents took refuge at Saint Saviour’s Center, which is an outreach program next door to the apartment complex.
“It was raining, and it was cold, and I just went over there and got them, and said, ‘Y’all come over to the center,'” said executive director Sharon Hayes.
Hayes is opening her doors again. This time she’s collecting donations for the fire victims.
“Our folks have lost everything,” she said.
Saint Saviour’s is collecting household products, toiletries and paper goods. Hayes said Green Chair Project is helping with furniture for the displaced residents, and Wake Relief is working to provide a week’s worth of groceries when they can return home.
“We are here to serve people,” she said.
Blakey says she learned some of her neighbors might be able to be back in their apartments by the new year. She doesn’t know if that will be her case, but she’s thankful she and her grandson made it out.
“I’m always grateful. I’m always grateful. I have an angel on my back,” she said.
The Glenwood South Neighborhood Collaborative is collecting:
- Dishes, glassware, silverware (sets of 4)
- Pots and pans
- Bar soap, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner
- Paper towels, toilet paper
- Cooking utensils (spatula, big spoons, knives, can opener)
- Dish towels, sponges or dish cloths
- Bed sheets (double or full), blankets, pillows
- Bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths
- Broom, dust pan, mop and bucket
- Household cleaning products (Comet, Lysol, Windex, etc.), and laundry detergent
- Gift cards to Harris Teeter or Walmart
Items can dropped off at Saint Saviour’s between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, or call 919-833-6400 to make an appointment at other times.
For more on how to help Paulette Blakey, click here.