WEST ALLIS -- The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District is organizing support for families affected by the fire at the Morgan Grove apartment complex over the weekend. Roughly 75 residents were displaced as a result of this fire -- many of them families with children who attend schools in the district.
Families from Mitchell Elementary, Hoover Elementary, Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate, Lane Intermediate, Nathan Hale High School, as well as other schools are in need of support after this fire.
"We have quite a few coats here on the racks," said Horace Mann Principal Chad Krupar.
The Horace Mann Elementary Community Closet was built three years ago out of necessity.
"It was a past principal who noticed a lot of people in the community were asking for support and we had this room that was not being used so he decided to bring in donations and it's grown from there," said Principal Krupar.
It's helped countless students and will likely help many more affected by this fire.
"In the back here we have a food pantry where you see quite a bit of canned goods and non-perishable items," said Krupar.
After the fire at the Morgan Grove apartment complex Saturday, January 7th, school officials said it was a no-brainer to reach inside the closet and help out.
"Morgan Grove is part of our school district and we know that we have a number of families that come from the apartment complex so at that point we went into our mode of reaching out and offering support and help to any of those families that need it," said Brian Vissers with the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District.
Roughly 75 people were displaced because of the fire, and at least four families include children who attend school within the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District.
"Part of being a school and a school community is helping the whole child and not just the academic part. That's helping them emotionally, helping them in any way we can because it truly is a community piece," said Krupar.
The fire did little outside damage to the building, but inside, people's belongings were ruined.
School officials said the community closet is filled with school supplies to help the children make an easy transition back to class.
"Sometimes you find that the sooner you get into a routine, and for some students, getting back to school is a comfort, it's a routine. It'll help them get back on their feet," Krupar said.
People were able to move back in on Sunday.
If you are one of the families displaced by the fire, officials want you to know they are prepared to provide assistance through Community Closets at Horace Mann Elementary School and Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate School.
The Horace Mann Community Closet is open from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day this week, while the Frank Lloyd Wright Community Closet is open upon request.
Families are encouraged to stop by if they are in need of clothing, food, or school supplies.
An online request form can be completed in advance so items can be prepared prior to pick up.
The Red Cross is also providing support and can be contacted at 414-342-8680.
If employees and community members would like to make donations to help families in need, school officials are requesting support in the form of gift cards from Pick N Save, Target, Walmart, or any gas cards. These gift card donations should be delivered to the WAWM School District Administration Building at 1205 South 70th Street, West Allis, WI 53214 to the attention of Cari Krueger located on the 4th floor.
All gift cards will be distributed to these families through the community closets.