Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

“United Front of Community:” How to help families displaced by recent fires.

A fire broke out on the 2500-block of Lexington Street in Uptown Harrisburg.

A fire broke out on the 2500-block of Lexington Street in Uptown Harrisburg.

Two separate fires on Lexington and Walnut streets broke out 10 days ago and displaced nine families, totaling more than 30 people.

These families, many without renter’s insurance, lost everything in the recent fires, City Councilman Cornelius Johnson said.

“When you start from nothing, there’s a lot of things that you need to rebuild again,” he said.

Johnson has been coordinating the collection of $25 Visa gift cards and basic items such as toiletries and clothing. So far, he said, he’s collected more than $3,000 in gift cards, which will be distributed evenly among the families on Friday.

“I’m just trying to make sure the resources are getting to the people,” he said.

Mother’s Subs at 2nd and Maclay streets reached out to Johnson to host a donation event tomorrow at 6 p.m. People can donate $25 Visa gift cards and clothing while enjoying free refreshments. They also can make cash donations that Mother’s Subs will use to purchase gift cards, Johnson said.

Mother’s Subs on 2nd and Maclay streets will host a donation drive on Wednesday evening.

In addition, donations can be dropped off at state Rep. Patty Kim’s Kline Village office from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If people are interested in donating money directly to the families, contact Johnson or Kim’s Kline Village office to coordinate with the families.

At last night’s school board meeting, district officials held a moment of silence to recognize the deaths of student Savannah Dominick and a student’s child, Ashanti Hughes. Those who wish assist Hughes’ funeral costs can contribute to the Major H. Winfield Funeral Home in Steelton.

“It’s a community effort where everyone is working to help as a united front of community,” Johnson said. “It’s not going to be one person, one organization, that’s going to be able to save all of these families.”

Here’s how to donate to families affected by recent fires:

  • Visit Mother’s Subs at 2101 N. 2nd St., Harrisburg, from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22 to donate clothing or $25 Visa gift cards.
  • Give $25 Visa gift cards or donations of clothing, toiletries or other basic items to State Rep. Patty Kim’s office at 46 Kline Village, 25th and Market streets, Harrisburg.
  • Donate $25 Visa gift cards or donations of clothing, toiletries or basic items to City Councilman Cornelius Johnson by contacting him at or 717-307-6977.
  • Donate cash or checks directly to the families by contacting Kim’s office at 717-772-3570 or by contacting Cornelius Johnson.
  • Support the funeral of fire victim Ashanti Hughes by contacting Major H. Winfield Funeral Home in Steelton at 717-939-3342.

Author: Danielle Roth

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