Home Life and Arts Community steps in to assist fire victims

Community steps in to assist fire victims

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Firefighters work July 20 to douse flames at Iconic Village Apartments on North LBJ Drive.
Star file photo.

Residents of the Iconic Village apartment complex and Vintage Pads apartment complex were awakened July 20 by a fire that broke out from unknown causes. The community has come together to lend a helping hand to those in need.

The community is making multiple efforts to help get victims of the fire back on their feet with monetary, clothing and household donations.

Brandon Perez, resident of Iconic Village, was fortunate enough to live in a section of the building that did not catch fire. He knew several residents affected by the fire. He woke up early the morning of the fire and went outside with other residents and saw building 500 burning down.

“I knew several (who were affected),” Perez said. “Some lost pets, belongings, certificates. Nobody saw it coming. I currently have suffered little to no damage from the fire, so I plan on giving some money to those fundraising.”

The fire left about 200 homeless, but fortunately, residents were directed to the San Marcos Activity Center for temporary shelter, as well as food and water. Meals were provided by The Central Texas Medical Center. Bobcat Bounty held an emergency food distribution the same day.

United Campus Ministry held a prayer vigil the same weekend to pray for those affected. Leading prayers for those in need was Westover Baptist Church and First Presbyterian Church.

Multiple organizations are doing their part to raise money for the residents, including the Society of Women in Engineering, who started a Go Fund Me for victims. The Texas State University Crowdfunding page is raising donations and is almost at their $40,000 goal.

Local businesses like Mochas and Javas and Metroflex opened their doors for clothing and household item donations in the hopes of providing relief for victims.

Student organizations S.C.O.P.E. and Queer Cats have teamed up to host a benefit show Aug. 1 at United Campus Ministry. Monetary or material donations will be the price of entry for the event. The show will feature different local bands and poets that are to be announced. Proceeds from food sales at the event will go to the cause.

Keuna Webster, president of Queer Cats, said she is happy her team can help.

“We were in the process of planning an event this summer so this is not only a great way to get our name out there, but a way to help people in need,” Webster said. “It’s been a team effort planning this.”

Wezmer, local band, and two others will be hosting a benefit concert every Sunday of August from 2-6 p.m. in the square at The Porch. The concerts are free but donations will be accepted.

Adrian Perez, Texas State alumnus and member of Wezmer, said he saw everyone outside the apartment complexes the day of the fire. Perez said he felt they were isolated in dealing with their loss, and he wanted to reach out to the community so the victims can socialize and discuss the incident.

“We really want it to be a community event where people bring their positive attitudes to talk and support each other because right now, there needs to be a sense of community,” Perez said

It has been a difficult week for victims of the fire, but aside from recovering lost items, mental health needs to be a priority.

The counseling center is accepting calls for victims to speak with counselors at (512) 245-2208. Urgent appointments can be set up. Services are free for use of students.

There are many resources easily accessible by city residents and fellow Bobcats. The community does what it can to ease the hardships students face, collaboratively.

For more university resources, visit this link to Safety and Emergency Communications.

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