White Plains Volunteers Help Following New Rochelle Fire

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The New Rochelle fire left several families scrambling.
The New Rochelle fire left several families scrambling. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Although several New Rochelle families remain homeless following Monday night’s fire, some of the displaced children will be sporting some new duds at school courtesy of volunteers at Kids’ Kloset.

Volunteers at the White Plains-based Kids’ Kloset were hard at work on Wednesday, putting together packages that include bedding, books, a week’s worth of clothing and other necessities that will be delivered to the victims.

According to Elly Zabb, who helped organize and oversee the packages, five children will receive their package in the morning. Kids’ Kloset has the materials to accommodate the rest of the displaced children - which include a New Rochelle Middle and High School student - but are still working on tracking down their contact information.

Zabb acquired the children’s sizes and information Wednesday morning through Jefferson Elementary School social worker Julie Berry. By Wednesday afternoon, the packages were ready for delivery.

“This is what we do. We got the information around 2:30 (p.m. Wednesday) afternoon, and by 4:00 (p.m.), it was in my car, packed and ready to go,” Zabb said. “Julie came and got it, and now it’ll go out, and those kids will have a lot of clothing by (Thursday) morning.”

A fire ripped through a three-story, multifamily apartment building on Drake Avenue shortly before 5:30 p.m. on Monday. New Rochelle firefighters had the blaze under control by 11 p.m., but not before the building sustained massive damage to each of its three floors and the roof collapsed in on itself.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“Our director, Stephanie Roth, got a news alert on Monday night, and we knew immediately we had to find out who these kids were,” Zabb said.

In its brief two-and-a-half year existence, Kids’ Kloset has filled more than 5,000 packages that have been used to help children throughout the county. Zabb added that the clothes that are delivered are in excellent condition, and are often brand new.

“It helps their self-esteem if they can go to school and look like everyone else in their class,” she said. “We don’t want them to feel like they’re wearing second-class clothing.”

Donations can be made at Kids’ Kloset at 170 East Post Road in White Plains, or by calling (914) 831-7616.

Neither Julie Berry nor the victims of the fire could be reached by Daily Voice on Wednesday.

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