As many of you know, our lives were turned upside down recently after we lost our home and pets to a massive fire. It has been a very hard time. Thankfully our family is safe, which is absolutely the most important part of this whole experience. We are trying hard to keep all of that "what if's" out of our minds.
We have to begin with a "Special Thanks" to the first responders who came to our home on Jan. 6. To the Police, Rescue Crews, and Firefighters from Rayland, Smithfield, Brilliant, and surrounding areas. We cannot "Thank You" enough for your heroic efforts to keep our family safe and in keeping the fire under control in sub zero degree temperatures that night.
Also, we would like to thank the Buckeye Local School District, Martins Ferry School District, Martins Ferry Christian School, Martins Ferry Christian Preschool, Martins Ferry High School Swim Team, First Christian Church of Martins Ferry, Glen Robbins Presbyterian Church, New Heart Covenant Christian Center, Total Sports Connection, Laws of Attraction Salon and Spa, Hughes Xerographics, Family Medicine Center of Wheeling Hospital, other area churches, local businesses and all the communities who have helped and prayed for us.
Most of all, we would like to "Thank" our family and friends who have been so supportive and have been there to help us through this terrible ordeal! We don't know what we would have done without all of you!
While we are devastated that the experience of a house fire will be etched as one of our children's biggest childhood memories, we are consoled by the fact that these incredible acts of kindness will likely be a much more vivid memory. It has been so important for them to see all the goodness around them in the middle of such a frightening time.
There are so many people who possess a spirit of generosity that is truly amazing. The compassion and generosity that has been shown to us started while the fire was still burning with help from the Red Cross and wonderful neighbors. The donations continue daily. It's been overwhelming.
Never in a million years, did we think we would be on the receiving end of so many donations. We have a family owned charity thrift store located in Martins Ferry where we donate free winter coats to the needy every year. We have given out 110 coats this winter so far. We give vouchers to all area schools for kids in need of clothing. We never expected to be the family in need of these same things we give away.
We certainly have a long road ahead of us, but it is so comforting to know that we are not alone. We are extremely grateful for everything that the area communities have done for us. It maybe awhile before we get a chance to acknowledge family, friends, and first responders individually; but, know that we have seen every text, listened to every message, have read each email, facebook messages, and cards. We are truly humbled by it all.
We will never forget the incredible support you have given to all of us.
From the bottom of our hearts, we THANK YOU!
The Phillips Family
Clay, Teresa, Paige