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Collection for Pittsburgh immigrant family from DRC

9 Mar

Today I spoke with Pepo Mazingi in a private capacity; he is not free to publically discuss details of the fire or his case right now, so I can't share more  with you than what's already in print.  I can, however, tell you with conviction that  Pepo does not deserve to have charges brought against him and does deserve our support.  After twelve years of working here in the US to bring his family from the DRC, they had an accident that any one of us could have had.  His battle to put out the fire left him with first and second degree burns; several in his family received minor burns as well.  They lost everything that they had brought from the DRC along with all that Pepo had prepared for them over the last ten years. 

They've started again from zero.

Since telling his full story is neither possible nor useful to him right now, I asked Pepo how Jeff and I can give him support in other ways.  We had already planned to collect and donate useful things for his family from our personal items, and he confirmed that this would be welcome and appreciated.  I asked "if we invite others to help, and if people seem interested in giving, what should we tell them you need?"

"Anything.  We can use anything people want to give.  Just think of what you would need if you lost everything."

So, we are moving forward to coordinate donations for Pepo's family, with that question in mind: what would I appreciate if I were starting from zero?  We are inviting you to join us and conduct an early spring cleaning to gather together clothes and anything else you can spare to help rebuild their personal stores and household goods.  We will be gathering resources for Pepo's family for the next two weeks, so if you'd like to give, please email me: becky@congostory.org and we'll find a way to coordinate a drop off/pickup.