Fire Victim Receives Care Package From Stranger - NBC Connecticut

Fire Victim Receives Care Package From Stranger



    Strangers from New Jersey sent a Mansfield couple baby clothes and books after hearing that they lost nearly everything in a house fire. (Published Sunday, March 9, 2014)

    It was just a box when the mail carrier dropped it off Saturday morning, but it deeply touched Brian and Gina Reifschneider in a way they hadn't expected.

    Packed inside were gently-used clothes and books for their 4-month-old daughter Alex. They had no idea where it came from until they saw the note.

    "We opened it and it was, it was amazing," said Brian. "It was kind of hard to get through reading."

    The note read:

    Dear Alex,
    My name is Lucy. I am 15 months old, and I live in NJ with my two moms (Mindy and Karin). We heard through a friend that you lost a lot in a fire. We hope that some of my things that I can't use anymore will help you out!

    "You don't expect people to be quite so kind," said Brian.

    On Tuesday, the Reifschneiders lost most of their belongings as well as their three cats when their Mansfield Hollow Road home caught on fire. Now staying at Gina's mom's house, they realize they've got family, friends and strangers watching over them.

    NBC Connecticut located Mindy Richardson and connected the families.

    "Saying 'thank you' is not enough, but that's what we can do," Brian said in a phone conversation with Mindy.

    "That's more than enough," responded Mindy.

    The two families are connected by a chain that includes a cousin and a mutual friend. They don't know each other, but Mindy knows someone close to her who lost everything in a house fire last Friday.

    "I've been struck by how much people have reached out to support her, and I just thought that I had things and I could share them," said Mindy.

    That one act packaged inside a box has now brought two families hundreds of miles apart closer than ever.

    "I know that I sent a lot of pajamas, and it sounds silly, but those meant a lot to me, thinking of their little girl sleeping safe and sound and warm," said Mindy.

    "There's nothing I can say that's ever going to thank them enough," said Brian.

    Donations can be mailed to 4 Pine Ridge Lane, Mansfield Center, CT 06250 or made online.