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From the ashes, a Michigan charity rebounds for Christmas

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

 One week ago, a fire destroyed the Saint Vincent de Paulstore and warehouse in Lansing.     

The community is helping the charity to rebuild.   

Saint Vincent de Paul provides help to those in need with clothing and other donated goods, heating assistance and even Christmas presents for children.  But last Sunday’s fire threatened all of that.    

Marcia Barrons Maiville is the president of the Lansing chapter.   She says the fire was ‘heart wrenching’, but it’s the community’s response that’s bringing tears to her eyes.  

"We have been so bless by so many people wanting to help us…..so many people wanting to help us at no cost….just want us to get back on our feet so we can get back to what we do best …that’s helping others," says Maiville.  “The response was fabulous.  More than anyone could have imagined."   

Maiville says Saint Vincent de Paul plans to reopen Monday at new office space that’s been donated.   She says they received so many donated children’s Christmas presents, that Saint Vincent had enough to share with other mid-Michigan charities.   

 Investigators believe last Sunday’s fire was accidental. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.