Fundraiser Helps Fire Victims

9 years 9 months 3 weeks ago April 29, 2007 Apr 29, 2007 Sunday, April 29 2007 Sunday, April 29, 2007 9:14:29 PM CDT in News

KOMU talked to a group of international students at MU who are getting involved to help the victims of the fire.

"I guess your first reaction is, I need to run over there," said Ashwood apt. resident Jim Buell. "I just kind of walked. I felt like, well if I'm there I'll just be watching my things burn down. So, I might as well just take it easy."

The fire was unintentionally started by an international student, and many of the victims were international students. The Missouri International Student Council decided to get involved and help everyone left homeless by the fire.

The apartment fire left 20 Ashwood residents without a home and without any of their personal belongings.

"We're not expecting to raise a great amount of money, but we do realize that a little bit of money would be helpful to students who incurred in this recent fire," said Thitinun Boonsang, MO International Students Council.

Buell says he's one of the lucky ones and his insurance claim with help him start over.

But some of his neighbors have no money to find a new place to live or replace what they lost.  But the Missouri International Students council is hoping to change that.

"I think people will be pleased. More than anything people will be surprised that people they don't know are giving money to them," said Buell. "It's really not something I would have expected."

The council raised more than $1,600 at a bake sale on earth day.

It also set up a website where the community can make secure paypal donations using a credit or debit card.  Right now the group has raised nearly $3,000.

But Buell says that isn't very much after being divided evenly between the 20 victims.  Still, Buell says it's about more than the dollar amount.

The fundraising efforts continue until Friday of this week.  The Missouri International Student Council is holding a fundraiser at Chevy's on Monday and Tuesday.  You can donate money on the MU Campus at International Student Center AO22 Brady Commons.  Or, donate by eating at Chevy's on I-70 Drive SW Monday and Tuesday between 4-10 p.m.  15% will go to fire victims.

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