The couple had recently fallen on hard times. They had saved for months to come up with first, last, and security and struggled to find an apartment amidst a pandemic that had many landlords leery of new renters not to mention the lack of rental apartments. It was no easy feat, but they were happy for the new beginning and excited to be close to their girls’, who are just six and seven years old, schools.
On the day they moved all of their possessions out of storage into the apartment, they lost it all. The day that was supposed to be a new beginning went up in flames.
On the way back home, Stephen phoned Kelli to let her know there was nothing left. Their family pictures, their furniture, their daughters’ teddy bears. All of it was gone. In the midst of their loss, they never imagined what was to come.
That’s when the Oakland Park Fire Rescue Benevolent Association, Battalion Chief Monica Maldonado, and Fire Chief Stephen Krivjanik stepped in to help the family. The whole department, touched by the family’s circumstances, came together. In conjunction with the Red Cross’s help, they were able to find a small but suitable temporary apartment. The Oakland Park Benevolent Association has been donating their time with support, such as painting and cleaning the new apartment.
“They don’t have to do anything they are doing”, Kelli stated. “My girls are sleeping with teddy bears that the fireman’s wives have donated. I just want to thank them for all they have done for us”.
Should you wish to donate a tangible item, the new apartment lacks space; they could use a new daybed with a trundle for the girls. Please consider donating new as in this time of the pandemic, and it is not necessarily safe or sanitary to donate used beds or bedding. They also need clothes for the both of the girls and the parents.
If you have a trundle bed or any other items for this family, please drop them off at Oakland Park Fire Station #87 at 2100 NW 39th St. Please reach out to Firefighter Ryan Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions.
Rhiannon Samoyedny was born and raised in South Florida. She has lived in Oakland Park for over 25 years and purchased her home in Garden Acres in 2012 where she resides with her husband, two teenaged boys, a few rescue cats, and her dog.
Her professional career began as a project manager and estimator for a small Oakland Park construction company and she later went on to earn her degree in Court Reporting, where she later incorporated her own small business RS Reporting, Inc.
She has a passion for gardening and attends many horticulture classes and workshops. She is also an LGA (Local Government Academy) graduate, class of 2019, and an active community volunteer and activist. You can usually find her around town at various Oakland Park meetings and events with her notebook, so be sure to say hello.