Penn community comes together to help West Philly fire victims

Fire Victims

After a serious fire severely damaged a four-story apartment building in West Philadelphia earlier this month, Penn students, faculty and staff came together—along with the University City District and the Salvation Army—to collect clothes, household goods, bed linens and other necessities for the more than 100 residents, including Penn students, who were displaced by the blaze.

On Jan. 10, the five-alarm fire raged through the Windermere Court apartments at 48th and Walnut streets.

In only five days, the Penn community was able to collect enough donations to fill six flatbed trucks, according to Isabel Mapp, associate director of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships.

The School of Social Policy & Practice’ Clothing Collection lent a hand by gathering new and gently-used coats, winter clothing, boots and shoes, sweaters and sweatshirts, gloves, hats and scarves, and toiletries. The Inn at Penn chipped in too by donating bed linens for the residents.

“A couple of the students came directly to my office and were able to collect items including toiletries, clothing, bags, towels, sheets, brand new underwear, and socks,” Mapp wrote in an email thanking those who donated. “They became tearful when they realized just how many people cared about them and their trauma...I do not believe any other university in the area was able to respond so quickly.”

 

Originally published on January 27, 2011