COAL TOWNSHIP -- The Hauer family from Coal Township is still very shaken up after losing all of their possessions in a fire on Monday. On Tuesday, they said the love for their community is so strong because in just 24 hours, people have showered them with donations.
"I don't know how to say it except to say thank you," Trudy Hauer said.
Over the past 24 hours, Trudy Hauer's home on Walnut Street near Shamokin has been a revolving door of people dropping off donations. Those donations are for her son, daughter-in-law, and their three children.
The family lost everything they owned in a fire at their home on nearby Spruce Street in Coal Township.
A state police fire marshal says it was accidental and started in the kitchen area of the house.
People in the community came to the rescue.
"We've gotten toys. We've gotten winter coats. There's just so much, and people are giving us money," Trudy said.
The family's three daughters are all under the age of 7. The two youngest girls have special needs. All of the girls' medical equipment was lost in the fire. But where there is loss, there is gain.
"Once there are kids involved, I think everybody has a soft spot for children," Eamon Shoff said.
Shoff and his friend Tara Christina brought clothes. Other people did, too,
"I was up in the attic and I was like, 'Oh, I forgot I had these things.' My grandchildren are all older and it feels good to give," Cheryl Sheriff said.
Haleigh, age 7, hopes one of her possessions is able to be salvaged.
"It's a blanket that I've had since I was very young and I don't want to give it up. Nana's trying to save it, right? Downstairs in the washing machine," Haleigh said.
Haleigh says she is now confident Santa will be able to find her family. She is also touched by the generosity of the community.
"We could help them if they need stuff because they're helping us," Haleigh said.
"Shamokin, Coal Township is a wonderful place. It's just been overwhelming. My house is filled to the brim," Trudy said.
Geisinger Medical Center donated medicine for the youngest girls. The Hauer family says the community has been very generous with clothing donations. If you'd like more information on how to help them, call Trudy at 570-509-2256.