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By Darlene Sweeney, Director of Volunteer Services

Just another day in the life of God …

It was just the beginning of a new day on Friday, July 7, in the Hanlon home when a smoke detector in the hallway of their home began to go off. Two of the boys woke up from the sound of the detector. The boys ages 12 and 15 saw smoke coming into the bathroom from the enclosed porch. The 12 -year-old boy ran to his Aunt Lola’s house several doors down to retrieve fire extinguishers. The 15-year-old started waking up his father, Ronnie, and his 14-year-old brother. The father, realizing that smoke was filling up his house, jumped out of bed and immediately started looking for his sons. The father panicked when he couldn’t find his 12 -year-old son. The 15- and 14 -year-old boys were out of the house when the 12 -year-old came running up with two fire extinguishers. Most of the house is a total loss. A huge tree at the back of the house was on fire as well. One quickly sees the replaceable from the non-replaceable in the blink of an eye.

Tamara Carr, a Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) responder, was called upon to respond to the scene. She learned that the two oldest boys were all packed and ready to go to a Christian camp on Sunday and now had nothing. As God would have it, Tamara was also a volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul Indianapolis. She quickly contacted Gary Steigerwald at the SVdP neighbor referral desk. Gary was able to make arrangements for the family to come to Mission 27 to get clothing and hygiene kits within two hours of her phone call. According to Aunt Lola, the boys “were giddy like Christmas morning” to be able to select clothing for their trip. The boys have always been active in their church, The Body of Christ Fellowship Church in Beech Grove.

Speaking on behalf of the Hanlon family, Lola said the family was so grateful to Tamara, Gary, Mission 27 and SVdP Indy. They could not believe how quickly everything happened and that the boys were able to attend camp despite the devastating events of the day.

“The boys saw the hands and feet of God at work that day,” said Lola. “They say the streets of Heaven are paved with gold and walking into Mission 27 felt like nuggets from Heaven surrounded us.”

We are so happy for the family and grateful for our SVdP Indy volunteers and staff!