Community organization collects donations for Palms Apartment fire victims

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (WCSC) – A non-profit organization, West Ashley Connects, has partnered with the Citadel Mall and others to provide a space for community members to volunteer and donate items to those affected by the Palms Apartment fire.

Kenneth Marolda of West Ashley Connects says this is their biggest project to date.

“This is the biggest initiative physically, literally, financially and in every way,” Marolda said.

Food, baby clothes, household items and underwear are just a few of the many items that have been donated by the community.

West Ashley Connects says they were able to get many items from pods full of donations collected by West Ashley Tool Rental, Software Solutions and Designs, and Palms Apartment.

Volunteers sorted and distributed the donations in a display case inside the Citadel shopping center.

“They can fill a cart; they can come back as many times as they want,” Marolda said. “We have food. We receive donations mainly of non-perishable food, and we go through it to sort out expired food to make sure that whatever we have here is immediately usable for them.

Not everyone has lost their home to fire. One resident, Earnest Bain, was evicted due to smoke damage and says he is grateful to the community for coming together to offer support.

“I appreciate it and hope we always stay that way,” Bain said. “A lot of times things happen and we don’t take care of each other, you know what I mean. But whenever there’s a storm or something happens, we take care of each other.

The organization says it will continue to accept volunteers and donations for as long as residents need supplies. They are also looking to help beyond this initiative.

“We anticipate the next step for residents as well as at least a few options to choose from,” Marolda said. “Whether it helps them with a security deposit, application fees or furniture.”

West Ashley Connects says they have also opened their doors to residents recently affected by an apartment fire in Summerville.

The donation center will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at their storefront in the Citadel Mall.

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