This year has been horrific for all of us, who would have predicted that COVID-19 could cause so much destruction? The loss of lives, jobs, and the virus wiping out everything we have come so accustomed to. A family in Watford City last week experienced even more pain - the loss of their home. A single mother and her four children lost almost everything in a fire. A celebration turned tragic. Jessica Wodelet was cooking food for her daughter's birthday when suddenly the grill and the propane tank caused flames hot enough to burn the side of her home - from there it spread and destroyed her house. The sole good news during the disaster was that everyone got out safe, including their cat and dog. I can't even imagine what that feels like to sit back helplessly while watching your home burn out of control. Jessica and her family found a hotel to live in for the time being - but what happened after the smoke cleared is a textbook example of people opening their hearts and stepping up.

A series of amazing gestures have wrapped a blanket of love around Wodelet and her family - A Disaster Relief Fund was also set up at First International Bank & Trust. Needed supplies like clothing and food, school items and, strangers walking up and donating hard-earned envelopes of money have been dropped off. Local businesses have opened their doors, providing meals and, paying off the kids’ orthodontist bills. These deeds are acts of love, no fanfare needed, just good solid North Dakotans doing what they can to lend a hand. Makes me feel good to read about those that really care for one another.

This week Jessica and her insurance company will be seeing what they can do to somehow see if any of her family's belongings can be recovered - one thing is for sure, that nobody will need to restore her faith in her community - and isn't that the best news of all?



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