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How to Help Residents Displaced by Piney Branch Blaze

Most victims of the Tuesday fire on Piney Branch Road were left with only the clothes on their backs, according to the Adventist Community Services center.

Firefighters fight a blaze in the 9300 block of Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, Aug. 27, 2013. Photo courtesy of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service's "Chief's Blog."
Firefighters fight a blaze in the 9300 block of Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, Aug. 27, 2013. Photo courtesy of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service's "Chief's Blog."
Several Silver Spring organizations are stepping up to help the more than 100 people displaced by a Tuesday afternoon fire in an apartment building in the 9300 block of Piney Branch Road, according to an email message from the Silver Spring Regional Center.

IMPACT Silver Spring, CASA de Maryland, the Tess Center and Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington, as well as many faith-based organizations, the county's health and human services department, the county police department, the City of Takoma Park and the Red Cross, all are offering assistance.

To donate emergency supplies (clothing, food and other staples), drop donations off at the Adventist Community Services center—at 501 Sligo Ave., Silver Spring—between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Usually, the center is closed on Fridays, but it will be open on Friday, Aug. 30, to accept donations and to distribute donated items to fire victims, who are welcome to stop by the center for assistance, Jenny Matias of the Adventist Community Services center said.

The center is asking, in particular, for donations of personal items, like toiletries, toothpaste, soap and clothes, Matias told Patch.

"A lot [of the victims] have only the clothes on their backs right now," Matias said.

Food items—such as boxed or canned goods—also are welcome. Two food pantries have called the center, asking to give donations, Matias said.

And, the center is accepting monetary donations, in part to help victims pay their first month's rent wherever they now may be, she added. 

To contribute money online, visit the Adventist Community Services' website (scroll down to the "Donate" button at the bottom of the page). If paying with a credit card, put the word "fire" in the second address line. If contributing via PayPal during the next couple of days, PayPal will know that your contribution is for this emergency, according to the email message from the Silver Spring Regional Center.

Or, to send a check, mail it to Adventist Community Services at 501 Sligo Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910, and write "fire" on the "for" line.

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