Here's yet another story illustrating why the Southwest Side is one of the best places in all of Chicago.
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A house in Clearing caught fire and burned last week.
The Alonso family lost a lot: valuables as well as everyday things like clothes, household items, toys, you name it.
They are temporarily living in a local hotel and looking for an apartment to rent.
Word spread quickly about the fire and the family's need. But unlike other neighborhoods, where people might shake their heads, say a few words of pity and then go back to their own lives, the good people of Clearing (and some from Garfield Ridge) are doing what good neighbors do: take action and help.
Classmates at St. Symphorosa took up a schoolwide collection that yielded cash, clothes, household items, toys and more.
The St. Sym's Parent Association spread the word via Facebook, email, phone, texting and personal contact---and in the early evening of Wednesday, August 29, they held a drop-off in the parking at 62nd and Austin, right next to the church.
People from all across the neighborhood drove by (a few walked) and dropped off items of all kind---including Chicago Police uniforms to help replace what Mr. Alonso lost in the fire---as well as cash.
As you might imagine, the family is extremely grateful for the assistance of their neighbors and friends. Mrs. Alonso posted this on the Internet:
"Thank you to everyone who came out and donated, called or texted us. We are very overwhelmed and are at a loss for words and filled with many emotions. We are so proud to be a part of this wonderful community and proud to be a part of the St. Symphorosa parish. We appreciate all the generosity that was given today and all this time and effort that was given to us. We know that these are hard times for many people, but there was many generous donations and we the Alonso family thank you from the bottom of our hearts. God bless you all!"
...and tell them you want to make a monetary donation to the "Alonso Fire Fund" (Account number 52176).
A lot of people involved in the drive to help neighbors in need spoke well of the good-hearted motivations that spurred so many to assist. We like the matter-of-fact way it was summed up by Melana Raehl, president of the Parent Association at St. Sym's:
"This is a community coming together. This is how Clear-Ridge rolls."
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