Our house on Taylor Street was gutted by fire in April this year, and it was a devastating experience for our family. But because we live in a community of incredibly generous and high-minded people, we have enjoyed tremendous support. This personal tragedy of ours was shared by all of our neighbors and even people we do not know, who bought us clothes and toys, took care of our pets, fed us, looked after our children, gave us technical assistance, set up funds for our use, and opened their houses to us. Thank you to all of you!

Also to the Oak Park Fire Department and all of the neighboring fire departments who managed to save part of our house and keep the fire from taking out the block, thank you so much for your great efforts. The Oak Park Women’s Guild assisted us with meals and we thank them as well. Whittier Elementary School could not have been more supportive with the sensitive handling of our situation — thank you so much.

For those of you we know, you realize how much your support has helped us; for those of you we do not know, please realize that your generosity and compassion has helped a family survive a tragedy and proved what a formidable community Oak Park is. Our love goes out to all of you. Thank you!

Karin O’Connell and the Ottati family
Oak Park

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