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Southport Rotary and Greenwood City Barbeque help local residents displaced by apartment fire

Southport Rotary and Greenwood City Barbeque help local residents displaced by apartment fire

By Nancy Price

Several Southport families received a special Christmas after a fire destroyed their homes nearly four months ago.

On Sept. 18, 2020, Greentree Apartments in Southport caught fire. No one was hurt, but 44 people were evacuated, and four apartments were ruined due to the fire and severe water and smoke damage.

“The building was a complete loss. The residents lost everything they had,” said Amy Lee of Southport International Rotary Club. “The building is still not rebuilt. We were there recently dropping off food from Indy Food Co Op and it’s still just a burnt-out shell of a building.”

“Many couldn’t find housing on short notice and lacked deposits,” added Tim Lee of Southport Rotary.  “They had to move in with extended family.”

Several members of Southport International Rotary Club are from the Chin community, and knew other fellow Chins displaced from the apartment complex.

“The fire occurred in the middle of Southport and directly impacted the international community,” said Tim. “For the Southport International Rotary Club it is important to embrace the ethnic diversity of the community and to find ways to have a positive impact on the community as a whole.”

Southport International Rotary Club members gathered at Chin Community of Indiana to present a check to the Chin Center to help those displaced from the fire. Pictured, from left to right: Peter Thawnghmung, Than Hre, Amy Lee, Cungbik Zathang, John Thawnghmung, Jeff Lake and Jason Etter. (Photo by Neal Smith)

Members of Southport Rotary decided to partner with City Barbeque in Greenwood to host a fundraiser in November for those who lost nearly everything in the fire.

“We choose City Barbeque as they give back 20 percent of sales from a designated day,” said Amy. “All of the proceeds went to the residents. The Indianapolis Rotary Club (downtown Indy) also donated to the cause.”

According to Tim, Southport Rotary hoped to raise $500 for the cause, however, funds raised exceeded expectations by more than double the amount. Donations are expected to help between five and 10 families.

“For Rotary members they have an innate trait to help others and that desire to lift up those who are struggling is found in our mission statement, “Service Above Self,” he said.

Tim invites visitors and guests to check out Southport International Rotary Club. “We are 21 dedicated individuals working hard to provide assistance to those in need,” he said. “We are always looking for others who enjoy the fellowship of big-hearted individuals with a desire to have a few laughs, roll up their sleeves and be a positive impact on their community, state, county and world.”

For more information, check out Southport International Rotary Club on Facebook or email Tim Lee at timelee0910@aol.com.


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