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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Andrew Weaver, left, and Shane Lagemann sort items Friday at Mustard Seed, which is helping families who lost everything in recent fires.

Mustard Seed restocks after aiding fire victims

– For the first time in several months, shelves and sorting areas at Mustard Seed Furniture Bank were packed with blankets, towels, cooking utensils and other items Friday to help families affected by tragedy.

Mustard Seed, a Fort Wayne organization that helps people start over after personal tragedy or other misfortunes, was overwhelmed last month as several fires ripped through city apartments and homes.

“We greatly appreciate the outstanding support of the community,” Executive Director Suzie Jordan said. “It has been overwhelming the support that the community has given us.”

Last month, Jordan made a plea for donations to help provide furniture and other materials for residents displaced after a fire burned through a 24-unit apartment building at Baldwin Creek Apartments, near Hobson Road and East State Boulevard. The Baldwin Creek blaze was one of several fires in November that left store shelves at the Mustard Seed in need of restocking. According to statistics from the Fort Wayne Fire Department, there were 12 fires in homes, apartment buildings or garages last month.

Jordan said the agency so far has been able to help two families obtain material items for their homes, and five families are next on the list for assistance. The families are not just from Baldwin Creek, but other fires in the Mustard Seed’s six-county coverage area.

“In that two- or three-week period, we had four other house or apartment fires,” Jordan said.

Mustard Seed typically sees an increase in donations around the holidays from individuals and groups looking to give back, she said.

On Friday, a man walked in with a $250 check, handed it to Jordan and said “Merry Christmas” before walking back out the door.

“It’s a great time because people are very giving during the holidays,” Jordan said. “… It will really help our agency.”