Donation center for fire victims closing earlier than planned

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - A week ago, a huge fire destroyed 20 units at the Arbor View Apartments in D'Iberville. Volunteers immediately set up a large donation and distribution site to collect supplies for the displaced families. That center is closing Wednesday, a few days earlier than planned. However, families in need can still get help.

Volunteers can't seem to keep up with the piles and piles of donations that have poured in to Big Ridge Baptist Church in D'Iberville. On Tuesday, Willie Mae Williams drove from Ocean Springs to drop-off bed linens and other supplies to help those who've lost everything in the Arbor View Apartment fire.

"It just melted my heart. I mean, I really feel for them because things like that happen every day somewhere, but it's right here at home. So I wanted to help," said Williams.

Since the distribution center opened a week ago, only six of the 20 families affected by the fire have come in for help.

"I can't imagine being devastated with the loss of everything, so I expected more. But we're just thrilled we were able to help the six families that have come," said Pastor Curtis Davis of Bridge Community Church.

That's one of the reasons why pastors who organized the donation drive will close the distribution center Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. instead of Saturday.

"It needs to close, because we've done what we can do here at this point. I'm just glad that Big Ridge was willing to step up to the plate and allow it to take place here," said Davis. "I'm just honored that God has allowed us to be a part of this."

Closing the center will also free up the Fellowship Hall and three classrooms that have been used to store the donations. Due to the enormous amount of donated supplies, the volunteers say they can no longer accept any more donations. However, they will continue to work with families that still need specific items.

"At this point, the only thing we're lacking is two sets of washers and dryers. That's the only thing that has been requested and we haven't been able to provide yet," said Davis.

And what's left of the donations will be given away to agencies that take care of the needy.

"Even if all the families come, there's still going to be a lot left over. We are going to contact other agencies, like Home of Grace, to see if they're in need of items and they can come and pick up. We want it to go somewhere to take care of the needs of those on the Gulf Coast," said Davis.

The pastors have also received $625 in monetary donations. If you were affected by the Arbor View Apartment fire and still need help, you can contact Pastor Davis at (228) 701-9887.

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