There’s been a lot of support from organizations like the Red Cross, Faith in Action, and local churches for the residents of the 10 condominium units that were destroyed by the fire at Huron Commons on January 7.
Now those folks will get a little more help from an active Facebook group known as “Spread Kindness Dexter.” The social media-based community was created by a group of local women who wanted to, well, spread kindness — as the name implies.
The Spread Kindness Group shares a lot of overlap with the more broadly known Friends of Dexter Facebook community, which can be visited at the following link here.
Typically there are two basic types of interactions that happen on the Spread Kindness page. Either someone in the group will offer something up that they don’t want or need any more in the hopes that someone else who lacks it will step forward or someone who needs something will voice that need in the group and members will search their premises for the item or items that will help make that person’s situation more whole.
It’s a simple concept that fosters a lot of goodwill and creates positive relationships between individuals in the group, has quickly evolved to include non-material sharing as well. There have been other fundraisers held within the group, members have provided services for other members at low or no cost, and sometimes the Spread Kindness folks just get together and have fun.
Those who wish to donate immediately can go to Chelsea State Bank during regular business hours and any teller can take a donation to the “Victims of the Huron Commons Fire” fund.
Spread Kindness administrator and founder Christy King is taking her groups efforts one step further by spearheading the organization of a charity concert in Dexter to raise even more funds for the fire victims.
“Right now these people need gift cards more than anything,” King said. Group members have been collecting and disseminating gift cards to condo residents through one of their own — Mary Sloan, who is also one of the more than a dozen residents of the now scorched condo building.
Sloan said that she felt “overwhelmed” by the help she’s gotten from the group, in addition to the overall willingness of group members to help the condo fire victims in general. For most of them, including Sloan, this month has been about starting from what feels like zero.
“I’m basically starting from scratch,” she said. “Although I did have insurance and have something set up as far as living, I wasn’t able to retrieve anything.”
After staying with her parents, Sloan is moving into an apartment in Walkabout Creek. In the interim period between temporary housing situations, the gift cards and cash have been helping bridge the gaps between her and necessities that one takes for granted in a typical living situation.
What’s been more awe inspiring is the non-material support that has come in the form of group members offering a shoulder to cry on and plenty of offers to bring Sloan food or even come and cook her dinner.
Although Sloan says she’s reluctant to take the material support and would like to hold off on the food and cooking offers until she’s settled into her Walkabout Creek apartment, she said that many of the seniors who lived in the Huron Commons building with her absolutely need all the support they can get — material and emotional.
“I think the concert is a great idea … I know my neighbors could use help too,” she said.
Right now many of the concert details are tentative, although many groups have both officially and unofficially indicated a strong interest in participating.
Gordon Darr, director of the Hudson Education Center which offers a high school solo and ensemble musical performance program, indicated that he would be interested in participating and that he would be helping the group members reach out to other music-related groups in Dexter to bolster participation in a charity concert.
“We are eager to do it and that’s what we do all the time … we do fundraisers and that sort of thing,” Darr said. “We’ll probably commit to a date once we find out when some of the other bands have time available.”
Darr is also part of “Stevie D and the Wannabes,” which he said would probably join the roster of performers.
Based on how the tornado that hit Dexter several years ago affected people that she cares about in Dexter, King said that experience tells her that the condo fire victims will be displaced for at least a year.
She added that she has received messages indicating support from contacts at Busch’s Fresh Food Market, Aubrey’s Pizzeria & Grill, and Polly’s Country Market who have already extended assistance to those affected by the fire.
More details will be published as the concert details firm up, participating musicians commit to a common date, and a venue is secured.