Joe Sorenson, Donna Gray, and Bianca Hawea looking through a bag of donations. PHOTOS/GRACE PRIOR.
Clyde St house fire victim ‘strong and resilient’
House fire victim Bianca Hawea has seen an outpouring of support from the Wairarapa community after her family home burnt down on Sunday morning.
Hawea and her family have set up temporary housing with beds and bedding that has been donated over the past two days.
Hawea said she was overwhelmed with the aroha and support from the community.
Hawea has had food, clothing, bedding, and blankets donated.
Although the situation isn’t ideal, she said she was “really, really blessed” to have received an outpouring of support.
Te Awhina Cameron Community House co-ordinator Donna Gray has been helping support Hawea after the fire.
“I’m actually on holiday, but when things like this happen, you’ve got to be there,” Gray said.
Gray said many donations had come through the community house already, including a washing machine, couches, and bed linen.
“We have such a supportive community here; everyone has such big hearts.”
Many donations are being stored by Gray as Hawea does not have anywhere to put them at the moment.
Gray said they were looking for donations of things that may be of use immediately.
“They really need foods they don’t need to store, plates, cups, a barbecue – things they can use in their living space.”
“Not only did they lose their family home, but they lost their car that they worked so hard to get too.”
Gray said Hawea had also lost her cell phone in the fire, something that would help her get connected to friends and whanau and access her bank account.
Gray said she had known Hawea previously as she would sometimes come and spend time at the community house.
“She is so strong and resilient. She always has a smile on her face and knows how to get through – even through her tears yesterday, she was smiling.”
Gray said Hawea had lost all of her belongings – something that anyone would struggle with.
On Sunday, Hawea stood strong in front of her vegetable garden that remained outside of her ruined house and said she was grateful she still had kai.
- A Givealittle page has been set up to help support Hawea and her family: givealittle.co.nz/cause/help-bianca-hawea-rebuild-after-losing-her-family.