B y Jaime Thomas
Exactly one week after a Hebron family lost everything in a fire, a new home arrived on their property.
A property owner from out of town was selling his plot, which included a trailer. Bob Tressler, who owns Heritage Manor Realty, has been organizing help for the Shaw family since the July 28 fire. He contacted the property owner, who “generously” agreed to donate the trailer.
“A generous individual from out of the area who owns a large tract of land here has donated the home on that property to the Shaws,” Tressler said, adding that both Robert Shaw and his father have the contracting know-how to make the home move-in ready.
Though a home was among the most essential items to be replaced for the Shaws, Tressler said many other types of donations have come in as well.
He said people are depositing generously into the special fund set up at TD Bank, “Friends of the Shaw Family.”
“We got a couple more over the weekend—people are coming up to me on the street and giving me cash to put in the fund—and we expect that to continue,” Tressler said. “As anticipated, people are very willing to help a family in their time of need.”
Tressler said many people are also calling up to donate furniture, but at this point it is unclear exactly what the family will need. The Mettowee Valley Community Church in West Pawlet, which has been set up as a collection center, reports steady donations of clothing for the Shaws as well, and community members have been sending in gift cards for stores like Wal-Mart.
“Needless to say, the family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and generosity that people are showing them,” Tressler said. He said “things are moving along,” and the family is able to feel positive and get excited about their new home.
“They’re seeing the good in people—people are coming out of the woodwork and looking to help,” he said.
Robert Shaw, Sr., said he can’t believe how overwhelming the response for has been with both friends and strangers giving his son’s family money, materials and time.
“A great thanks to Bob Tressler and his contacts and friends and all the churches involved and anybody else that dipped into their pocket or sent something,” Shaw said. “One hand helps the other.”
He said people from as far as Arizona and Texas, who heard of his family’s plight, have been sending donations.
Though the trailer was free, he will have to do a lot of work on it.
“Right now it’s a two-bedroom trailer for a family of five,” he said. He hopes the fund at TD Bank will raise $3,000, which will cover the cost of building a 12 by 16-foot addition that will create two new bedrooms.
He will also have to put in a new roof, replace some windows, replace the plumbing and do other work. He hopes the family will be able to move back in about a month.
Shaw said the family especially needs a refrigerator, plumbing supplies and other building materials. Tressler said financial donations would be the “best effort at this point,” so the family can purchase exactly what they need.
Those interested in contacting Shaw for building material needs can call him at 518-232-8709, and those who want to donate other items can contact Tressler at 518-642-3664.