COLLEGE STATION, Texas — After Monday’s fire at the Holleman Oaks apartment complex in College Station, Aggieland’s outpouring of love and concern for displaced residents manifested in a mountain of donations.
Holleman Oaks resident Andrea Escoto had stepped out of her home just briefly Monday morning as her middle-school-aged son watched his two little sisters. Then, fire spread through their building.
"I left the kids at the house and my oldest is the one who told the girls to get out of the house," she said.
The family of five lost their home, and were displaced with just the clothes on their backs. It’s families like theirs that the College Station community have come together to help.
Donations through the American Red Cross were stacked high at Grace Bible Church's gymnasium Friday afternoon, ready for sorting by the College Station Fire Department’s Community Action Response Team [CART] and distribution to fire survivors.
“And the pile keeps growing higher!" said Linda Harvell, College Station city council member and CART volunteer. "Just, thank you to everybody who took the time to donate. It’s going to mean a lot to those residents when they walk in and go ‘at least I have a sheet I can put on something.”
The Escoto family, who came to the gymnasium Friday for some clothing, worry about where they’ll be placed in their new apartment by the Holleman Oaks management.
Questions on their mind include: will it still be close to work? Will their children get to go to their same schools?
But overall, they’re happy that with the Red Cross and community, there are a few less things to fear. And at the end of the day, they still have each other.
“We’re just grateful for what we get, and what we have," said Escoto.