Eagle River Lions Club, community unite to help survivors of deadly apartment complex fire

Published: Aug. 1, 2021 at 9:43 PM AKDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2021 at 5:47 AM AKDT
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EAGLE RIVER, Alaska (KTUU) -Members of the Eagle River Lions Club pride themselves on how they help neighbors who need it. They’re doing their part to help those out of their homes during the July 31 deadly apartment fire on Meadow Creek Drive.

Clothes, food and school supplies make up the majority of items that fill the Lions Club building. They came from donors, eager to help those forced out of their homes.

“These people lost everything. We have a lot,” said Richard Nusbaum, one of the donors. “If we’re able to donate to them, I would have helped. We’re a small community, and we help our neighbors.”

The Lions Club put out the call for help hours after Anchorage firefighters put out the flames. What donors gave left Lions Club members overwhelmed.

“You see people have lost loved ones,” said Mary Meachem, a Lions Club member. “But at the same time, this community steps up. It’s who we are out here.”

The building nearly filled up with donations shortly after the doors opened to the center.

“We want to make sure they have, the kids have, I mean, the tenants have enough stuff for when they move into their own places,” Meachem said.

Volunteers included students from Chugiak High School who sorted out donated clothes. They had to hurry though, as more donations arrived from people who wanted to help their neighbors.

Those forced from their homes by the fire can stop by the Eagle River Lions Club between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to get what they need. People looking to donate can do so at that time as well.

A big problem for the Lions Club, they said, is the building is rented the rest of the time.

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