Local group gives directly to San Bruno fire victims

December 16, 2010 7:55:23 PM PST
Tens of thousands of dollars in donations have poured in for the San Bruno fire victims, but city officials are still working out how to distribute the money and the victims haven't yet seen a dime, so one local group has decided to take its donations straight to the families who desperately need the money.

Rob Randolph cuddles his 5-year-old son, Terry. On Thursday they checked on their yellow-tagged San Bruno home. They've been living in a hotel since Sept. 9, when the pipeline explosion and fire leveled 37 homes and killed eight of their neighbors.

Randolph has to get repairs done by early January, when he's getting a stem cell transplant. He has a blood cancer called multiple myeloma.

"Things are just taking too long," said Randolph.

His current life expectancy is two to five years; the transplant could triple that. But he won't have an immune system for two months. He says while insurance has cut checks, the bank won't cash them until the work is done. He's had to borrow from his mom.

"The contractors have been working on my house for the last month, but we have not received one dime from the bank," said Randolph.

Randolph's wife, Milette, says paperwork for insurance and PG&E claims is crushing under the circumstances.

"I want to have Christmas for my kids. My kids do not deserve this. For them to see their dad like this and then this, to be displaced from our home?" said Milette.

Thursday Santa came to the Randolph house in the form of Mica Eades and Sharon Godbolt with a $500 check from members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's Palo Alto chapter. They decided to give directly to San Bruno families needing help.

"We'd like to present to you our first check of $500, which we'll present to every family. And we're so very sorry for your loss," said one of the women to Milette.

1631 Claremont is an empty lot where the Tovar's home used to be. Also on Thursday, Eades and Godbolt went to their rented house, check in hand. It will help make Christmas for toddlers Jonathon Louis and Damien Angelo, and their parents.

"Everyone has their days where they're just not in the mood or I don't know, you just have moments where you realize it again 'Oh, everything is gone,'" said Priscilla Tovar.


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