Tragedy struck one of Inspiritus' foster families when the family’s home was severely damaged in a house fire early this month. The Peacock family have welcomed three energetic boys ages 15, 14 and 8 into their home, providing a caring, stable home for them as well as the couple’s adopted son. When the family received a call from a neighbor one Sunday morning while on their way to church, they returned to their neighborhood and found their house engulfed in flames as a team of firefighters worked to contain the fire and minimize damage. While they were relieved that no one was hurt, the couple worried about how they would recover and how they would provide for the boys in their care. With most of their possessions ruined and nowhere to live, they were concerned that the boys would have to be moved to a different foster home.
After learning about the fire, Inspiritus’ top priority was providing safety and security to the foster family. Knowing that the Peacocks were having such a positive influence on the three boys, we wanted to ensure that the boys would stay with the family and avoid another traumatic disruption in their life.
With a Disaster Response team already in place in the southwest region, our staff acted quickly to assist the family with finding temporary housing and securing other basic needs. In a few short hours, our team was able to assist in arranging a short-term stay in a hotel as well as providing basic necessities such as food, hygiene items, clothing and school supplies. Within just a few hours, the Inspiritus disaster recovery team also began helping them with their insurance claim, seeking out furniture donations and searching for rental home to accommodate their large family.
In the following week, Inspiritus helped secure a fully furnished rental property, close enough that boys will be able to continue at their current schools, to live in temporarily while their home is being repaired. To relieve some of the financial burden, Inspiritus was able to pay their first and last month’s rent on the home. Inspiritus’ disaster team also began clean up on the home, removing the ruined items and salvaging the few items that they could.
The family has been blessed by the outpouring of support from the local community and beyond.
“Through our team work and network of organizations and ministries this was a beautiful display of God’s promise in Isaiah 61:3,” says Sabrina More, Disaster Recovery Case Manager, Inspiritus. “He gave this family a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
The Red Cross, Friendship United Methodist Church and First Baptist of Albany helped provide the hotel rooms for two weeks while Inspiritus located a rental home. Cuttliff Grove Baptist Church provided food for the family, and Mattress Firm and City Care donated book bags with school supplies. Clothing, restaurant gift cards, and other household goods were donated by Calvary Baptist Church in Albany. A local department store donated gift cards for the children to purchase additional clothing. Brooks furniture has donated beds for each of the four children. Nativity Lutheran Church in Austell, Georgia, who are longstanding supporters of our disaster recovery work, provided gift cards for the family to use as need. One of our foster parents, Mr. Longstreet, offered his assistance along with volunteer firefighters from Tifton, Ga. to help with debris removal from the home.
Our Inspiritus family and the Peacock family feel so blessed at the support and prayers that have covered this family during this time of crisis. Because these partners and supporters helped provide them with many of the basics and assisted Inspiritus as we walk alongside them during this crisis, the Peacock family has been able to provide the love and support that will allow the three foster children in their care to thrive.