Local Tragedy – Follow-Up

West Wind Fire : R.A.M. Follow-Up

by Nik Sanchez

March 15th was a markedly disastrous day in the town of Buchanan, MI. So many families were displaced and lost nearly everything, including things we all take for granted. The fire at West Wind Apartments proved to be a horrendous day for 46 different people including 16 youths. Many affected families were at school or work when the fire started so they did not have the opportunity to gather what they could, even if there had been time for that.

The town of Buchanan has a group of volunteers that contributes to help many families including the West Wind fire victims. Talking with members of Redbud Area Ministries (R.A.M.), they all have said the response has been overwhelming but they have not shied away from the huge task at hand. All their dedicated workers contribute more than 400 hours a month to provide for families in need of help. Their fearless leader Jan Nowak-Walters says, “R.A.M. is in the driver seat right now and needs to help contribute even more.”

She also states that the town of Buchanan is still absorbing the visual of the fire, many have stated that it was very traumatizing. Jan says, “other healing needs to take place, it’s not only possessions that were lost but memories families had, the calm needs to happen now more than ever.”

R.A.M. has been such a blessing in Buchanan, many have stated, and many families have put faith in their trust and confidence to achieve their tasked goals. R.A.M. provides help for many of those on a continuing journey that seems never ending, they call it “longer-term support”. They help with providing rent and stability for families in need, along with helping them start over with everyday items that people take for granted.

Many organizations have come together to help the victims of the West Wind Fire, R.A.M. serves as the nucleus between these factions. They have created a fund called the Angel Fund which directly helps the victims but is turning into a wide based fund to help anyone in need. They find and locate specific items that families need directly to help with displacement, they can range from clothes to food to a teddy bear that a child has lost.

While speaking to members of R.A.M. I felt a warm sensation of love and care, as I was a total stranger finding out about the organization. The impact this organization has made is provided by countless volunteers who put their needs aside and contribute to the community and anyone else in need. To me, this sounds like God’s original plan and there are angels right here on earth. This is living proof.

Jan Nowak-Walters

Redbud Area Ministries (R.A.M.) is located at 708 N Red Bud Trail in Buchanan, they are open Tue-Fri 9a-1p and accept any type of donation (food, clothes, shoes, housewares, anything you think might help displaced families), also checkout their Redbud Area Ministries website and/or their Facebook page for most current needs.

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