(July 11, 2014) After a June 26 fire decimated the home of Jennifer Pusey, a small group of citizens banded together on Facebook to help the family get back on their feet.
Christina Ager created the Pusey Family Fire Recovery page in the days following the fire. The page quickly amassed more than 1,000 followers.
“The entire house was burned down – everything inside of it was destroyed,” said Ager. “I didn’t know the Puseys, but I drove past the house every day. I saw them standing outside and I just pulled in the driveway and asked them if I could help. They said, ‘no, no, we don’t need anything,’ but I looked at the house and I looked at them and I realized they need everything.
“They were so sweet,” Ager said. “I said, ‘I don’t know how much I can do, but I’ll start a Facebook page.’ My intent was just to get them immediate help. They didn’t have any shoes, they didn’t have any clothes – they had to get toothpaste and toothbrushes and all these little things that we don’t think about on a daily basis.”
Ager called the response from the public “overwhelming.”
“The community – I don’t even have words for the community we live in,” Ager said. “They’re amazing. I had no intention of doing any kind of fundraiser or event, but the entire community just pulled together and everybody wants to help in any way that they can.”
In the wake of the initial success on Facebook, four friends of the Pusey family, Crissy Marie, Tammy Consigli, Jennifer Wheeler and Wendi Eitel, approached Ager with the idea of holding a fundraiser.
“They approached me and said that they wanted to make an event to try and raise more money,” Ager said. “And just the event alone is helping to heal the family’s spirit. I have no words for how this has snowballed, and the Puseys still have not asked for anything.”
The group will hold the fundraiser on Tuesday, July 15 at the Marlin Club on 9659 Golf Course Road, Ocean City from 6-9 p.m. A silent auction with items and services donated from local businesses will raise additional money for the Pusey family.
“I’m overwhelmed and so touched by the public response for this,” Ager said. “I didn’t grow up here – I moved here 15 years ago and there have been times when I didn’t want to live here just because it’s such a small town. But I’ll never move away from here because of how quickly this small town came together. In a matter of 24 hours there were 1,000 people asking how to help. It’s amazing – it just gives me chills to think about it.”
Donations of cash, check or gift cards can be dropped off or mailed to TMFG c/o Christina Ager, 6200 Coastal Highway #101, Ocean City, Md. 21842 re: Jennifer Smith Pusey. Cash or Checks may also be dropped off at any Calvin B. Taylor Banking Co. Use memo line “donation fund.”
Donations to the July 15 auction can be made through Jennifer Wheeler or Tammy Consigli on the Facebook page. For more information visit www.facebook.com/groups/ PuseyFamilyFireRecovery.