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Mar 19, 2012 8:34 AM by Annemiek Wilson- KPAX News

Community gives family new start after house fire takes life of boy

MISSOULA - After a house fire took the life of 11-year-old Dominick Sharp on Thursday, the Missoula community came together and did everything they could to help the family back on their feet.

Local Cub Scout Pack 4104 collected donations throughout the day at Wal-Mart.

Armed with a list of the family's needs, and lots of eager helpers the cub scouts collected both money and household necessities.

"This could happen to anyone and it's so tragic, the boys can start to learn to understand that life happens and bad things can happen and that even at this young age they can do something to help," said Bonnie Christensen, Cub Scout Pack 4104 Den Leader.

The second graders colored thank you pictures and encouraged everyone to do what they can for the Sharps.

Rat Pak Mini-Storage donated three units and volunteers spent the weekend collecting everything needed for a new household.

It all started when two local moms were chatting on Facebook and decided they wanted to help. Together with family and friends Breezy Rhinehart and Danae Nuckolls are creating a new start for the family.

"It would be really hard to lose everything and then it's great that the community can help out, and donate, and spend time and help us organize all the stuff," said Taylor Goforth, Volunteer.

Thursday's events made a lasting impression on Missoula, and are causing many people to reflect on their own lives, "I see from this what I have and I appreciate it way more because our family has a lot," said Hailey White, Volunteer.

In just 3 days the community managed to collect almost everything the Sharp's need. So far the only things missing are diapers, dishware, and bed linens.

Donations can be dropped off at Jamie Lynn Photography and Target Range School.


A little love going a long way for Sharp family 03/16/2012 10:24 PM by Robin O'Day (KPAX News)

MISSOULA- A Thursday morning house fire claimed the life of 11-year-old Dominick Sharp while also completely destroying the family's home on South Seventh Street West But the Missoula community is rising up to provide shelter, clothing and food for the family, proving a little bit of love is going a long way.

"There are people who just saw it on the news who don't know anybody, who obviously are affected by this family's loss of a child and the devastating effects of a fire and who have stepped up and come in to support that family,"

Target Range Principal Luke Laslovich said. As the school's office phone was ringing off the hook on Friday with donation inquiries, the classrooms were quiet as students remembered Dominick. "His closest friends aren't at school today.

People that are in his class are making cards and sharing stories and doing the things that it takes to deal with the crisis that we're in right now," says Laslovich.

Parents, neighbors and complete strangers are bringing in donation bags filling the school hallway on Friday afternoon.

Not only is the community stepping up and helping, but local businesses are offering their services in this trying time.

"Everybody pulls together and wants to take care of each other and it's a beautiful thing and we've very happy to be part of it," Pak Rat Mini-Storage Manager Nicole Conniff commented.

A stranger has loaned the family an R.V. and Friday night is their first night in their own space and we're told the family is very grateful for all the donations.

The community has raised more than $11,000 for the family so far and cash donations are being accepted at any First Interstate bank location and if you'd like to help out, there are several events this weekend.

You can drop off monetary donations to Target Range School on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and can also drop of new or slightly used furniture to the Pak Rat Mini-Storage on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Call (406) 207.9333 for information on what the family still needs. There is also a shopping list for the Sharp family at the Walmart on U.S. Highway 93 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday if you'd like to purchase a few items for them on your own shopping

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