Through the Flames

Last week during the chagim, an apartment where a single mother lives with her four children caught on fire. Thankfully no one was hurt, but the Tzfat family had to come back to a home filled with piles of ashes, soot-covered walls, and broken windows. We received a call for our work crew to come to the apartment and help in any way we could. Livnot staff and volunteers were the first on the site in the early morning, helping the mother and her children clean up the damage. Neighbors also came to lend a hand, helping with things like laundry. While laundry may not seem like such a big help, it is when almost every cloth item in the house needs the smell of smoke thoroughly washed out, and the home doesn’t have a dryer. Rafi is heading the Livnot team on site. “We cleaned…and cheered her up,” Rafi said. “I think it gave her the

Raphi and the Livnot team helped by starting to clean the soot-covered apartment. Photo by Laurie Rappeport.

Raphi and the Livnot team helped by starting to clean the soot-covered apartment. Photo by Laurie Rappeport.

energy to keep going. At first, she didn’t know where to start. She seems like a cheerful, optimistic person, but it was just too much. The mother came home to fire trucks and neighbors in the street. She was walking from far away and saw the smoke. She prayed in her heart that it wasn’t her home.” On Facebook, Laurie Rappeport, long-time friend of Livnot and former staff, has been rallying the Tzfat community to help support this family. Laurie writes: “Thanks to the staff of Livnot U’Lehibanot which arrived at the burnt apt first thing this morning and has been working, helping the single mother and her children clean up and start the process of renewal. Thanks to the neighbors who have been helping with the laundry — everything needs laundering and again, for one person without a dryer (and the rains have started here) it’s overwhelming.”

Michelle Checchi
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​​​​​​Michelle is a journalist with a passion for impactful storytelling. She currently works as a writer/producer for Fox 12 Oregon. Her most recent experience includes working for CNN's Early Start and New Day, and as a morning producer for News 12 The Bronx and News 12 Brooklyn. She's also worked as marketing & communications for Livnot U'Lehibanot.