Alyssa Smith is one of our newer slush readers at Ideomancer. Her house burned down last night.
Today while she was at work, she got a call from her landlord saying that her house was on fire. By the time she got home, there was nothing left. Literally, nothing. Her beloved pet birds, her family heirlooms, her books and clothes and furniture and brand new iPad, all gone. Her roommate likewise lost everything. The buildings on either side of hers were gutted too. Their best guess is that the fire started in the basement, right underneath Alyssa's bedroom, and spread astonishingly quickly. (News coverage here with video of the fire and the burned-out building. Quite horrifying. No reports of human deaths or injuries, which is kind of amazing given the scope of it.)
Right now the Red Cross is putting her up in a hotel. She thinks that will last about a week. After that, she's going to couch-surf until she figures out whether she wants to wait three months for her old place to be renovated or try to find a new home. Until she's settled, she doesn't need donations of stuff. What she needs is money so she can keep herself afloat for the next couple of months and eventually replace some of the things that were destroyed. She does have a job and income, but she'll need to take time off work to deal with all of this. She had tried to get renter's insurance and got stuck in the labyrinthine bureaucratic process, so she has pretty much no recourse except for those of us who care about her.
rosefox has set up a donation fund to help. If you have a couple bucks to throw into it, everyone at Ideo will be much obliged.