(Sept. 18, 2020) Coworkers of Destiny Collins organized a GoFundMe to support her family after a fire destroyed the family’s house on Circle Road in Berlin on Labor Day.
Collins said the fire occurred when her father was grilling and went inside to use the restroom.
“I went outside to go get my clothes because I took my grandmom and myself to laundromat, and as I was bringing our clothes in, the house was filled with white smoke,” she said. “So, I looked out my window, and I saw that the fire was coming from under the hood of the grill.”
Collins instructed her father to unplug the gas tank to avoid an explosion.
“He ran to go get the water hose, and I ran into the house to get a bucket, and I started trying to fill it up with water,” she added.
But they were too late. The fire spread to the house.
Collins, her two children, her younger brother, her father, her mother and her grandmother were living in the single-story home on Circle Road and are now homeless.
The American Red Cross provided Collins’ mother with Visa cards.
“We went to Walmart to go buy some clothes and stuff to last us for a couple of days,” Collins said.
Her family first went to Microtel Inn & Suites, but relocated to La Quinta Hotel because it was too expensive. Fortunately, her relative worked there and was able to provide the family with a deal on rooms.
Collins said her family is most in need of clothes for her younger brother, parents and grandmother as well as basic necessities and house supplies.
She added that she attended the “Beep and Greet” event at Buckingham Elementary School on Buckingham Road in Berlin and received school supplies for her oldest daughter.
“When I went to get another iPad for my daughter because it got damaged in the fire, the school actually had donated some money to us and school supplies as well,” Collins said.
In addition, Head Start provided supplies for her youngest daughter.
To collect monetary donations for the family, Collins’ coworkers Abbey Gray and Jasmine Bateman organized a GoFundMe account on Sept. 9.
“Words cannot express enough of how appreciative I am,” Collins said.
Currently, Collins works three jobs: Bath and Body Works, as a hostess at Hammerheads On the Beach, on 10th Street and the Boardwalk, and at Mountainaire.
On Monday, Collins’ boss at Hammerheads On the Beach organized an event to raise funds for the Collins family. All bar proceeds from 4-6 p.m. benefited them.