Who Cares? YOU DO!!! YOU proved it by GIVING from your HEARTS! (UPDATE: The Melissa Grant Fire Relief Fund)

By
Real Estate Agent with The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group

 

Saturday morning...after learning of the housefire that destroyed a portion of Melissa Grant's home...I wrote a post asking for ActiveRain members to join me in giving Christmas back to Melissa and her family. I shared with you how the fire began in 15 year-old Joshua's room and destroyed ALL of his possessions. I told you about 7 year-old Grace and 6 year-old Cole's fear that Santa would not be able to find them this year. I asked you to place yourself in their shoes...to imagine how you would feel if you could not be in YOUR own home for Christmas...to ask yourself how you would cope with YOUR childrens' fear and grief. Your response was amazing...your outpouring of love inspiring!

This morning, I had a long conversation with Melissa. I shared with her some of the stories of how you have opened your hearts...many of you giving out of your own need. I encouraged her to go to her office and log onto AR...to read the many, loving comments you have left for her. After reading your comments, she left this comment for ALL of YOU!

I had a few minutes and access to the pc and I am sitting here reading all the beautiful comments and words simply cannot express how grateful...thankful I am for each and every one of you. You are all amazing people and well..I truly just don't know what to say. I'm sorry I cannot right now comment to each and everyone of you so I will try to sum things up as best I can.

Each day is a little different, emotionally, physically we are all okay. I seem to be wearing many different hats of emotion and staying strong for the kids..Josh, well..that's a hard one..what do you say, what do you do to make a 15 year old cope with losing 15 years of his treasures....The most amazing thing happened ...I got up in the middle of the night Saturday evening..I wanted to check on all the kids..I feel frightened over the littlest things now..hopefully that will pass...when I checked on Josh, he fell asleep with the bible he found in the nightstand, he lay there peacefully sleeping..the bible lay next to him and the way his arm was spread out it looked at though he was hugging it...I just kinda stood there in awe..knowing he was getting the peace he needs. My 2 little ones, are just really confused. The hotel Manager wrote a note addressing it to the children from Santa and stuck it to our door...they were excited to know that Santa found them and even though we didn't have a chimney he had a special key :)..

The weirdest thing for me is that everyone around us seems to know exactly what to say or do and i am usually that person. I would have never thought about a letter..from Santa..I would have never thought to have someone write a letter to Josh like Kris Wales did telling him from an outside source it wasn;t his fault and everything would be okay...I would have never thought to call someone like Vanessa did me this morning and hook up to kids with similar talents...

I know I have missed many calls and many emails. I appreciate all of them. In the hotel I sometimes get cell reception and sometimes I don't. Please know I am checking messages as often as possible and logging in as often as possible and will get back to everyone whom I am able to reach. As for me, well, some days are better than others but logging in here today has been so uplifting...and I really needed it. Sometimes I feel guilty if I laugh, then I feel guilty if I sort of go numb thinking to myself I don't care..I welcomed the frustrated/angry emotion on Friday when my son was given a detention for not having his school id that was in his room and the school new...I know that sounds weird but it gave me something else to do rather than feel guilty or numb... But, I have learned so much from all of this, especially the power of love...and to not take the little things for granted. I was speaking with Elizabeth earlier this morning and telling her it's those little things ..the things that are luxuries that become necessities in our lives...like a microwave for example..I don't have one in our hotel room...but how use to them we get..it makes you value things a little more..or like yesterday when I was at t he laundry mat doing a load of cloths..you just look around and see ...everyone has laundry..some of us are lucky enough to be able to walk 15 ft in our home and do it...some us are not..Things change us, society changes us, the hype of what's in or what's not changes us....but..fire...has changed me...it has confirmed angels are among us, that God works in the most miraculous ways...that he will never give us more than we can handle...that we have no earthly idea what will happen tomorrow and to live today as if it were our last...that dirty socks, will always be there, that our children, our family is the most precious thing HE ever GAVE TO US...and I cannot imagine my life without them or all of you !

Thank you all so very much...for everything...for just people who you are...

Melissa

 

As I shared with Melissa about YOUR overwhelming show of love and support, I realized that I also needed to share with you. ActiveRain is a community of real estate professionals from all over the country. Most of us have never met one another face-to-face. Yet, everyday we interact with one another through our blog posts. We exchange ideas...experiences...photos...successes...needs...OUR BURDENS. Galations 6:2 says, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

When I wrote the post about the fire in Melissa's home...I made you aware of Melissa's burden and asked you to help her carry it. YOU DID EXACTLY THAT! So many of you, who do not know Melissa or even me, stepped up alongside Melissa and took a portion of her load onto yourself. As you can see from her comment...your love and support has meant the world to her...giving her the strength she needs to keep moving forward. Isn't it wonderful to know that...one day...when you need some help to carry your burden...YOUR ActiveRain family will be there for you, too?

::DRUM ROLL PLEASE::

  • So far...we have collected almost $450 in the Paypal Account.
  • IF everyone who has committed to give sends in their checks...we will have an additional $1500-$2000.
  • A young man (17 years old) heard about Josh losing ALL of his 'stuff' and decided to donate $20 of HIS OWN money to Josh.
  • Another child asked her mom to give some of HER Christmas presents to Grace.
  • An AR member has already gone online and ordered gifts for each of the children.
  • Some of you have asked if you can send gifts as well as donations.
  • One precious woman gave a small donation and asked God to mulitiply it 100 times. She gave ALL she had to give. I'm praying that God will bless her 100 times more than what she gave.
  • A special AR member has been calling local and national real estate organizations and making them aware of Melissa's need.
  • An AR member who desperately needs money to make a car repair made a donation.
  • Several of YOU wrote posts pointing your readers back to my post...to get the word out faster about Melissa's need. Several large contributions were a direct result of your posts.

 

Everyone: Please read Elizabeths Nieves blog - It's so important!!   by Kris Wales

 

A Plea For Help For A Fellow Active Rainer   by Tom Plant

 

Help for Melissa Grant and family   by Missy Caulk

 

URGENT! An Active Rain member needs help!   by Jason Crouch

 

One of Us Needs Help   by Sarah Cooper

 

IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO GIVE!

IF you wish to make a donation to make Christmas special for Melissa Grant and her family...go to PayPal.com. My email address is the contact for the Melissa Grant Fire Relief Fund. Elizabeth@ElizabethNieves.com

 

FROM THE DEPTHS OF MY SOUL...THANK YOU !!!

MAY GOD BLESS EACH ONE OF YOU BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS !!!

THIS IS WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT!

MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!

 

Written and Posted by:

Elizabeth Nieves - Broker, REALTOR® -- The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group @ Keller Williams (A Bilingual Real Estate Team serving Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill NC and surrounding areas.)

Visit our website at http://www.elizabethnieves.com

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
256,756
Pat Laracy Baker
Key Advantage Realty - Needham, MA
Realtor, Green, ABR, Needham, Massachusetts
Hi Beth, YOu should get my check soon. I sent it that night. I know she will be well taken care of. God bless you for getting the word out.  
December 17, 2007 11:08 PM #15
Rainer
69,662
Bill Nazur
Corona, CA

You are a total darling for doing this!

I've been away, so I apologize. I will be in touch with you shortly!!!!

December 18, 2007 02:50 AM #16
Rainer
339,851
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

Elizabeth, when I saw the subject line that was my *tissue alert**. 

I am in awe of the generosity of people here, and of you.  When I grow up I want to be just like you.  

December 18, 2007 04:46 AM #17
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Good Morning Elizabeth,
Thank you for the update.  It was good to read Melissa's words.  She and her family need lots of prayers.  My check is on the way.
December 18, 2007 05:55 AM #18
Rainer
194,096
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team

Vanessa:  THANK YOU for choosing to be a part of this Christmas miracle! I KNOW that God will bless each person who gave. And maybe the biggest blessing is how we learned that we can count on one another. For me to know that my AR family would be here for me when I need help is the most encouraging thing to me. GBU!

Krista:  I'm glad you've been spending times with your babies! I hope you guys are having a blast getting ready for Christmas. It is just around the corner, and I have so much to do. I've been sick for five days...and that has put me so behind on preparations. I'll catch up!! Blessings!!

John:  THANK YOU for being a part of this opportunity to unite on behalf of one of OURS. GBU!

Carole:  You are so sweet! I can feel the love and compassion in your words. God bless you, my friend!

Jessica:  THANK YOU SO MUCH! Anything you can do will be a blessing!

December 18, 2007 07:38 AM #19
Rainer
194,096
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team

Courtney:  I HAVE to brag about your daughter. Your email touched my heart so much. Courtney's little girl went through her room and unopened birthday presents and gave two boxes of HER things to Grace and Cole. She even gave her almost new Hello Kitty school bag. I KNOW how proud you are of her, Courtney!!! What a beautiful act of kindness and love. I just wanna hug her!! Tell her that she in an angel!! GBU!!

Lisa:  I GOT IT!! THANKS, my friend!

Pat:  Thanks! I think the checks will start coming in today. I will keep all of you posted. Blessings!!

Bill:  THANKS SO MUCH!! I'm glad you are back! Blessings!!

Kris:  You are too kind! This has been a joint effort...all of us working together to get the word out. Each person who has offered up a prayer has made a difference. I'm so blessed to be a part of such an amazing group of people. I loved AR before...but NOW...I think AR members are the best people in the world! I'm so thankful that I found this place...ALL OF YOU! I am honored to know each one of you and call each of you 'friend'. God bless you, Kris!

BTW:  I'm gonna think of a tissue alert code for you!!! ;-)

Cynthia: You are wonderful!! Thank you so much!!

Merry Christmas EVERYONE!

BTW...the Paypal Account is at $650...as of this morning!!!

December 18, 2007 07:47 AM #20
Rainmaker
148,331
Tom Plant
WINEormous.com - Murrieta, CA
Elizabeth - You bet your butt we care. Keep that money rolling in, folks!
December 18, 2007 08:23 AM #21
Rainer
103,109
Armando Rodriguez
QUEST REALTY SERVICES - Orlando, FL
Orlando Homes 4 Sale, Real Estate Broker-GRI

Boy I know God must be smiling at all of us. This is what he means when he says love each other as I love you!

He again is Glorified as we all thank him for pulling us together for Melissa's sake!

December 18, 2007 09:12 AM #22
Rainer
194,096
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team

Tom:  LOVE IT!!! YES...keep it rolling in!! :-) Blessings!

Armando:  I KNOW that He is pleased that we are standing together for this family. This is what Christmas is all about! GBU!!!

December 18, 2007 11:14 AM #23
Rainmaker
305,870
Roberta LaRocca
Simply Vegas Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management
Elizabeth, Glad to hear that so many AR members are helping.  It has to be so hard for Melissa and her family to be in this situation. I hope the money keeps coming in for her.
December 18, 2007 12:21 PM #24
Rainmaker
374,933
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
It's powerful to see the difference a community of caring people can make.  Thanks Elizabeth for what you are doing.  Thanks also for bringing focus to the Clean Water project which has received donations as a result of our efforts.
December 18, 2007 12:53 PM #25
Ambassador
963,249
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
Elizabeth - This is such terrific news.  I am happy to see that so many in this community stepped up to help.  What a great hotel manager, too!  That is just great stuff.
December 18, 2007 12:59 PM #26
Rainer
194,096
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team

Roberta:  The show of support has been so beautiful to see. I know that they are going to be so blessed by all of this love. GBU!!

Lola:  You are so right! All it takes is many to share the load...to lift a heavy burden. This is a wonderful thing to see. I'm so glad that the Clean Water Project is doing well also. I am going to do another post highlighting many different ways to give...including the Clean Water Project. Blessings, my friend!!

Jason:  Doesn't it just warm your heart? I'm so overwhelmed with joy...almost indescribeable. Praise God for people who care!! GBU!!

December 18, 2007 01:49 PM #27
Ambassador
1,471,291
Renée Burrows
Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com
Elizabeth, as I mentioned in email, thank you for organizing this on behalf of everyone who has donated.  How clever that you thought of using paypal!  You made it so easy!
December 19, 2007 11:57 AM #28
Rainer
194,096
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team
Renee:  You don't need to thank me. This was just the right thing to do. We have to support one another...that is what community is about. Thank you for being a part of the answer for this family! Blessings!!
December 19, 2007 01:36 PM #29
Rainmaker
501,911
Susan Haughton, REALTOR, ABR, SRES
Alexandria, VA
Helping You Buy or Sell Alexandria Real Estate
I agree with Renee - thanks for making this easy!  Especially when it's getting late, the handbag is in my car, in the garage...well, you get the picture.  Pay Pal is the way to go.  Thanks for spreading the word and helping this valued member of the AR family.
December 19, 2007 10:02 PM #30
Rainer
194,096
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team
Susan:  THANK YOU!! I did receive your donation, and I can't tell you how blessed I am to share this opportunity with all of you. I have never been more proud of a group of people than I am of the members of AR who have joined together on behalf of this family. God bless you! Merry Christmas!!
December 20, 2007 12:29 AM #31
Rainmaker
106,523
Debbie White
Prudential Southeast Alaska Real Estate - Juneau, AK

Elizabeth - I've sent mine as well.  I've been there, done that.  January 13, 1992.  We lost almost everything.  I was a volunteer firefighter at the time, and attempted to put out the fire myself (after calling 911).  I locked my children outside and sent them to the car.  I emptied 2 extinguishers onto the fire.  I closed all the doors and windows and put a wet towel under the door to keep it confined as much as possible to one area.  When my hairdresser got done with me, I almost had a crewcut and I still have scars on my hands and arms.  Fortunately, we are all okay and all we lost were things. 

LOL my firefighter gear was in the car with the kids!

December 23, 2007 01:16 AM #32
Rainer
194,096
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team

Debbie:  OMG!!! Your story makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Once you have lived through that...you can never forget. I'm so thankful you came out of it okay. Thank GOD! Thank you so much for giving to help Melissa. Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2007 03:57 PM #33
Rainmaker
106,523
Debbie White
Prudential Southeast Alaska Real Estate - Juneau, AK
Elizabeth - It is a terror you never forget.  Everything gets remembered in slow motion, kind of like a bad car accident.  The scars aren't that bad, and I learned so much.  Funny thing is my hair grew back thick and curly.  Before the fire it was thin and straight.  My message to Melissa - you will get through this.  Things will eventually find themselves back to normal.  Everything you lost was stuff.  At least you have your family and that's what matters.
January 01, 2008 01:40 AM #34
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Elizabeth Nieves

Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team
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