Help floods fire victims |

Help floods fire victims

At the Van Dam household, the telephone line is busy and the message machine is full.

After a story in Wednesday’s The Union told about the fire that burned down their home on Banner Mountain and the family’s plea for help, the people of western Nevada County poured out their generosity.

People have called offering refrigerators, stoves, couches, beds, sheets, clothes, shoes and toys for Andrew and Rachelle Van Dam and their 2-year-old son, Samuel. They have dropped off bags and bags of things at their rented house on Ridge Road.

Someone left a washer and dryer. The family was trying to replace the rented furnishings their insurance company had sent, but for which the Van Dams have to pay a portion of the cost.

“It’s been crazy,” Rachelle Van Dam said. “The phone just constantly rings, the messages fill up. I can’t call everybody back.”

At least 25 calls and e-mails poured into The Union, too, in the two days after the story came out.

The outpouring of help has been a blessing that makes her feel overwhelmed, Van Dam said. “It’s been incredible. I’m totally amazed,” she said.

A friend has lent them a truck to pick up items, but “there’s only so much we can do in a day,” Van Dam said. “We’re just trying to do what we can do.”

There was just one last thing the family needed people to know:

Thank you.


To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail or call 477-4231.

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