Hundreds Of Items Donated to Help Out one Family

Maureen Wurtz

COUNCIL BLUFFS (KPTM)- Hundreds of items were donated Sunday to help a family that lost everything in a house fire.

All that is left of the Vander Woude house is soot and smoke.

"It's hard to fathom something like that happening, and to know the person?" said Deanna Rodenberg.

Lori Vander Woude and her three kids, ages 11, 9, and 6, lost all their belongings in a house fire last Monday.

Fire officials believe Vander Woude's estranged husband, Mark Vander Woude, may have set their home on fire. His body was found on the second floor.

"Such a heart wrenching story," said Rodenberg. "That's hard to see a family go through that."

That's why dozens of people came out Sunday to donate. Everything, from kitchen pots to jeans, was to help the family get back on its feet.

Hundreds of items were donated.

"It's really nice when the community gets involved with things like this," said Billie Determan, who stopped by to donate.

"Amazing, it's wonderful," said Rodenberg. "The kids, everybody, they'll be so amazed."

Lori's 9 year-old daughter Peyton danced at Kerri's Dance studio for years.

When organizers got together to pick the location, the studio had the perfect amount of space to handle all the donations. "You say to yourself," said Mindy Richardson, with the dance studio, "There are still a lot of good people in the world."

Every person who donated signed a sheet of paper. By the end of the day there were pages of signatures.

Rodenberg said it's a sign that the community is supporting the Vander Woude family. "That the community to help them just get out of bed everyday and have to face the world again."

The studio space was packed with items in just a couple of hours. "It gives you goose bumps to think about it," said Richardson.

Donations for the Vander Woude family are also being accepted at US bank.