Once again, the Tri-City area community has demonstrated its generosity and compassion for one of its own.

The devastating fire that claimed the lives of four children in the Whitney-Kelley family, and severely injured both parents and another young child rocked the community to the core. As always, in times of tragedy, area residents came together to help. A variety of local businesses hosted fundraisers in the immediate aftermath, including the Kroger store, and Great Clips located in the Kroger Plaza. A bank account was set up at Lakestone, and a GoFundMe page was created as well. Donations large and small—including a $10,000 donation from the Venture Global Engineering Foundation—began pouring in. Local funeral director Christina Muir-Murphy teamed up with her partners at Muir Brothers Funeral Home in Almont to cover the funeral costs of the four who passed away.

Last weekend, the Imlay City Eagles hosted a fundraiser dinner that drew people from all around the area. The house was packed, and wallets and purses were opened wide. When all was said and done, some $18,000 was raised to help the family as they continue to recover from both their loss and their wounds. Organizers say they were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for the family, and pleased with the turnout and funds raised to help.

We’re not surprised. As always in a time of need, the Tri-City area community comes together to support each other and do what they can to help. We’re grateful to be part of such a generous, compassionate community. Our towns may be small, but our hearts are huge. We join in with our neighbors to send best wishes for healing and hope to the Whitney-Kelley family.