4 practical ways to be a help (and not a hindrance) to someone in shock/trauma



Photo by Kelly Cosgrove

On the weekend, a fire engulfed four townhomes in the Cottonwood complex, before being put out by the Pemberton Firefighters Association. (Thank you firefighters!) Four families have lost their homes. We extend our deepest condolences to them, and to the Cottonwood complex. According to the community forum posts, everyone and all animals were safe.


Photo by Kelly Cosgrove

In March, Diane Rothdram and family also lost their home to a fire. Diane shared the following advice, for those who are inspired to be of service and assistance.

I’m grateful to Diane for her permission to repost her words here.

Please, take them to heart and move gently and with intention – they arise from Diane’s own experience, and can guide us all in our efforts to be of help to community members who are in shock, and have experienced loss and trauma.

Hello Awesome Pemberton Community!
First I would like to remark how touching it is to see everyone jump to the aid of the families affected by yesterday’s fire. If you don’t know me, our family lost our home in March. I know that no one has the same experience but I’m hoping I can share a few bits of advice that we discovered having lived through a similar situation.
  1. The people affected will be receiving a constant stream of messages with offers, thoughts and questions. Please preface your correspondence with “no need to respond”. It was a gift every time we saw those words as the volume of messages increased. If the family you are trying to reach has a friend who is helping, they are a perfect portal to getting your message through. They can let you know how you can help and assist in getting the needs to the family (thanks again Hayls McCallum)
  2. Prepared foods and gift certificates for restaurants are so helpful. Life is a whirlwind for these guys and not having to organize and prepare meals will be a gift.
  3. Please show respect to the families and stay away from the sites where their homes once stood. They will likely need to meet with investigators and insurance adjusters in Cottonwood over the next few days and there is a lot of information to be shared. Having an audience and interruptions makes it difficult to concentrate on these important conversations.
  4. The thing we needed above all else was a long term rental and we were lucky enough to have friends connect us with a number of unadvertised options. This was huge. If you have any leads it will make stability that much closer.
I would like to again thank everyone who has helped us get back on our feet. In situations like this all help is appreciated and all contributions are so valuable, just hoping to create ease for the affected families.

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