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House, cars donated to family after fire
Jul 17, 2014 - By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer
A house and multiple cars have been donated to Feike and Noelle van Dijk after a horrific house fire Tuesday evening that killed two of their five young children.
Friends of the family told the Lander Journal that Noelle van Dijk and two other children have been released from SageWest Health Care at Lander, while Feike van Dijk and another child still are in a hospital in Salt Lake City.
They were injured in the blaze that was reported at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to their home at 10 Lyons Valley Road southeast of Lander. Officials said the fire appears to be accidental; the family was possibly barbecuing on the porch just before the incident.
Anonymous donors reportedly contacted Central Bank and Trust this week to try to help the family.
"By noon (Wednesday), we had every household item (the family) needed," bank public relations coordinator April Hughes said. "They had a house donated free to them, cars and more. ... I don't think this decreases the sadness and tragedy of the event, but it gives us purpose."
According to Hughes, donations still needed include men's clothing, size 38 pants, extra-large shirts, and clothing for a 10-month-old girl.
Clothing for Noelle van Dijk, a 5-year-old boy and a 10-month-old boy have been donated.
"We also have plenty of toys for the 5-year-old boy, but we could use some for the 10-month-old," she said.
Hughes noted the family received help from the American Red Cross and the local Care and Share Food Bank, so food is not needed at the moment.
There is a bank account set up at Central Bank and Trust in Riverton, Lander, Fort Washakie, Thermopolis and Cheyenne for monetary donations to the van Dijk family. Hughes said only the Lander branch is accepting items to donate to the family. The bank will accept household goods, toys and furniture, though people should call before dropping off large items.
There also is an online fund for the van Dijk family at gofundme.com. Organizers hope to raise $50,000 through the website. As of 1:30 p.m. Thursday, 274 donors had raised $22,135, according to the site.
Hughes pointed out that online fundraising tools usually charge a 5 percent fee for each donation.
"So, if $100,000 were raised, $5,000 of it wouldn't go to the family," she said.