A storage company in Stratford has provided a storage unit free of charge to the Fattore family of Perth South, allowing them to put out the word that they’re now ready to accept donated household items. They’ve even been offered a free family photo session by a professional photographer — if and when they ever happen to be in California to take her up on the offer.
But it’s still a long way to recovery for the family of seven — mom Melissa, dad Chris, and children aged 10, 8, 4, 2 and 1 — who lost their home and almost all their belongings in a night-time fire earlier this month.
“It just keeps on getting harder,” wrote Chris Fattore in an email late last week, as the family struggled to adjust to living in a Stratford hotel, and figure out how to replace what was lost — including two dogs, a rabbit and a guinea pig — when their rented home on Perth Line 15 just north of St. Marys was destroyed.
By Monday, Fattore’s perspective had brightened, at least on his most recent post on the website — located at www.gofundme.com/gbt24 — set up in his name to collect monetary donations towards the family’s recovery.
“We would like to thank everyone who has made a donation, it really means a lot to us,” he wrote on the website. “And we appreciate every dollar you donate to us, we know you all work hard for your money and although some do not have much themselves still find it in their hearts to give to us.”
Also Monday, the family secured the donation of a storage unit from the Stratford U-Store — a donation for which they want to publicly thank the Stratford business. “They heard of our story and let us use one of their units,” Chris Fattore wrote on the website. “So if you would like to donate household items you can email us at email@example.com and we can arrange a time to meet.”
Downie Central Public School near St. Pauls, which some of the Fattore children attend, is also accepting cheques made out in the family’s name or gift cards for food or other goods.
On Monday, the Fattores told the Journal Argus they are “still looking for a farmhouse that we can move to” (they have other animals in a barn that still stands on the Line 15 property, so they need rural accommodations). Incredibly, they also said a propane tank, undamaged by the fire, was actually stolen from under the shadow of the burned-out home.
“We are still a long way from our (fundraising) goal, but every donation we have received is appreciated,” Fattore added in an email.
And now, with the storage unit ready, “we are thinking to the future and would welcome donations to re-stock our cupboards once we do have a place — things like spices and staples, sugar, flour etc. . . . diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, cleaning supplies.”
As for the photography offer, it came in conjunction with a small donation to the website. But, with other more serious things currently on their minds, a trip to California probably won’t be happening right away.