Lawrence, MA, July 23, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Meet Gloria Cruz. Like any mother of a growing family, she has her hands full. It's rare that she has the time to focus on the news but when she heard that four adults and three children died in a horrific fire, her heart fell. With three kids of her own, she wanted to help because, as she said, "it could have been me."
Gloria and her husband, Davi, live in a cramped apartment in Lawrence with Alex 12; Mya, 10; and Eva 2. After paying the bills, there's not much left for "spending money." As a treat, they'll take the kids to Hudson Speedway on Old Derry Rd. in Hudson, NH, just like they did this past Sunday. And just like every other time, they entered the raffle for a kid's bike. This time, though, Mya had the winning ticket.
Remembering the fire victims, Gloria decided to turn this win into a teaching moment for her children. She wanted them to donate the bike to the survivors of the disaster in Lowell. The kids resisted at first because the thought of a new toy put smiles on all their faces. Gloria persisted because, as she said, "it was important for the kids to learn about good deeds and how to help others who are less fortunate."
She reached out to her uncle, Brian Murphy, a real estate agent with LAER Realty Partners. Murphy and his fellow agents were collecting clothes, food, money, household goods, and whatever they could raise to help make a difference. With just under 300 agents in 15 offices, the firm had readily available drop-off locations and the manpower to pick up and deliver the donations. "We're in the family business," Murphy said. "We just had to help."
Gloria hopes that other families will pitch in because she knows that even the little left over after paying the bills can make a major difference to a family that has nothing.
The three-alarm fire on July 10 on Branch Street in Lowell claimed seven lives. The victims included a couple and their three children ages 7, 9, and 12. The two other victims were a 38 year-old woman and a 70 year-old man.
LAER Realty Partners has donated $1,000 and will continue collecting donations at all of their locations through this week. Their local office is at 232 Pleasant St. in Methuen. All donations will be sent to the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association (CMAA) who is leading the relief effort at the scene.