Tuesday, December 10, 2002
Stefanie Lowe and her two sons, Ryan and Matthew, moved out of the motel room they’d been living in for several weeks and into a condominium last week. Thanks to an outpouring of community support for the family, whose rented house burned down in early November, Lowe was able to make the necessary rent and deposit payments for a condominium on Wasco Street in Hood River.
Nearly all the money raised came from community donations to a bank account in Lowe’s name set up at U.S. Bank by Hood River resident Janet Davis.
The Lowes had been living at the Meredith Motel since their rented house on Dee Highway burned down the morning of Nov. 3. Authorities said the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction. Lowe and her two sons escaped with only the pajamas they were wearing.
“I told her, ‘You go find a place and we’ll make sure you have money to pay for it,’” Davis said. “This community has come together in an incredible way. I knew it would.”
Lowe is glad to have a more permanent home for her kids, but says it “still feels a little funny.”
“It’s a new place,” she said. “It feels like you’re in somebody else’s home.” She’s also getting used to the traffic on I-84 — a big change from the quiet of the Upper Valley.
“But I tell you what, we wouldn’t even have this place if it wasn’t for this community,” she said. Support for the Lowes has poured in from organized groups, local stores, restaurants, churches, schools and individuals. In addition to monetary donations, gifts of clothing, furniture and household appliances have helped to replace things the Lowes lost in the fire.
“We’re still getting used to our new belongings,” Lowe said. “I appreciate everything everyone has given us.”