College Students Help Fire Victims with Clothes Drive, Picnic in Park
Patterson, Jennifer, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Jennifer Patterson Daily Herald Staff Writer
It may have looked like an ordinary barbecue going on at Lords Park in Elgin Saturday afternoon.
But it most certainly was not.
Elgin Community College's Black Student Association, in conjunction with several other college groups, turned its annual picnic into a special benefit for the more than 100 families left homeless after the June 17 fire at the Burnham Mill apartment complex.
By midafternoon, more than 100 people had already showed up to munch on hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken and, more importantly, to drop off clothing, cash and other necessities to help.
"I'm very grateful and appreciative of what the organization decided to do for me. It's been such a blessing," said Monika LeFlore.
LeFlore is one of many residents of the apartment complex who attend classes at ECC.
She was working in St. Charles when she learned her building was on fire. She later discovered the blaze started in her own apartment after her brother spilled hot grease while cooking french fries.
Now, she and others are starting over with the help of the Black Student Association, the Organization of Latin American Students, the Muslim Student Group and ECC's student government and Office of Student Life. …