Monday morning's house fire has triggered a myriad of emotions throughout central West Virginia as area citizens and civic organizations band together to assist a family touched by such an unthinkable tragedy.
Immediately following the fire, The Inter-Mountain received dozens of phone calls and social media posts inquiring about ways to aid the family.
Three days removed from those awful events, several groups and individuals have come forward to provide much-needed assistance.
On Wednesday, Elkins Mayor Van Broughton opened an account at Citizens National Bank to benefit the Chamberlain family - of which five members have perished and two continue to battle for their lives. By presstime, scores of donations already had poured in, with many, many more expected in the coming days.
In addition, Broughton is spearheading an effort to organize a candlelight vigil to remember the victims. A time and date has yet to be chosen, but Broughton expects a large turnout as the community grieves alongside the family.
A spaghetti dinner also has been scheduled from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 16 at the First Baptist Church in Elkins.
Other fundraisers include dinners, a 5K race, a chicken BBQ and a combination cakewalk, 50/50 drawing and auction set for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at George Ward School.
Aside from benefits, a section of the Elkins Middle School library will be dedicated to one of the victims, Katie Bolgar. Bolgar, 11, was an EMS student.
In the coming weeks and months, a multitude of other events will be planned and executed by hundreds of local volunteers.
Tragedies such as these are simply beyond belief. They can not be put into words, and no amount of consoling will take the pain away for either the family involved or the countless area residents that are grief-stricken and heartbroken.
This unfortunate event, though, has brought out the best in our community. We all shine as beacons of hope in this dark and sorrowful time.
Broughton and the countless people organizing vigils and fundraisers, as well as, the thousands of residents who will undoubtably provide generous donations deserve praise for coming together to aid their own in a moment of need.
The Inter-Mountain joins with this great community in its despair and offers a challenge to area residents to do whatever it takes to help the family through the difficult days ahead. Although this disaster directly touched just one family, each and every person in the area shed a collective tear this week for the seven people who made all out lives a little brighter.