Toys and bags of food were ruined during Sunday's fire at the Clef Center. A scorched Christmas tree and soot-covered furniture showed the devastation.
Instead of playing Santa this year, volunteers had to tell dozens of needy families that their care packages were not coming.
"Quite a few of them said, 'Oh, no. What are we going to do now?'" says the center's Shirley Lockamy. "That question couldn't be answered right then, because it was just devastating."
Despite their loss, employees of the Clef Center are thankful that no one was there when fire broke out Sunday morning. Only a few days earlier, the center was full of parents and children picking up their Christmas donations.
While those families picked up their packages before the fire, volunteers are lining up private donors to help those whose gifts and food were lost in the blaze.
As the new year approaches, the Clef Center, which has helped many people over the years, may have to rely on the community to help rebuild.
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