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UPDATED: Want to Help Local Family After Fire? Here's How

Friends of the Chudziks are collecting donations to buy gift cards, as well as items of clothing for the family of five whose house was gutted by a fire Jan. 2.

  • UPDATED (11:54 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 5): Information about the Chicago Ultimate Volleyball Club.
  • UPDATED (8:42 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5): Information about the Lincolnway Special Recreation Area.

. Although no one was hurt, the blaze did leave the house "completely gutted," according to a battalion chief from the .

Friends of the family are doing what they can for the Chudziks, donating clothing and other items.

"It's been wonderful. People have been very supportive," said Len Chudzik, adding that the family's church, , also has offered to help by donating food once the family moves into temporary housing later this week.

Although the insurance inspectors have yet to visit what's left of the house, Chudzik said the damage is extensive, and he'll tour the house Thursday to see what items can be salvaged, especially those with sentimental value. He said he and his wife think they found some photos and videos that might have survived, and they hope they can be restored.

Ultimately, Chudzik said he's glad no one was hurt because of the fire. His wife, their youngest son and their two dogs were home when the blaze started.

"My wife did a great job of getting everyone out," Chudzik said.

Michele Jurgens and a friend are accepting donations to buy gift cards, as well as clothing items. The following are the sizes for the individual members of the family of five:

  • Husband: XL, 36-32
  • Oldest son: Men's, L 32-34
  • Youngest son: Boys size 12
  • Daughter: Women's medium
  • Wife: Women's L, size 10

To make a donation, contact Jurgens at 708-494-4257 or call 708-712-7054 and ask for Kelly.

NEW ITEM! Tom Krauss, webmaster for the , posted in the comments section that the organization is collecting gift cards and donations for the family. They can be dropped off until 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, at the LWSRA office on LaGrange Road.

The Ultimate Volleyball Club in Frankfort also is accepting clothing donations for the Chudziks. People can drop them off at by 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5. 

GET INVOLVED: Looking for Volunteers or Help With a Cause? Post Info onOur Facebook Page

Other friends are trying to start a charitable trust fund for the family, but they're having some difficulty with the process. If you have any background in this area and can offer advice, post your contact information in the comments section or e-mail me at joev@patch.com.

Also, if you know of other individuals or groups who are collecting donations for the Chudziks, leave that information in the comments section and on the Frankfort Patch Facebook page. I will keep updating this story.

Tom TK Krauss January 06, 2012 at 01:50 AM
The Lincolnway Special Recreation Association is also collecting gift cards/donations for the family. They can be dropped off at the LWSRA office, 21800 S. La Grange Rd. in Frankfort through 5pm on January 13th.
Joe Vince (Editor) January 06, 2012 at 02:33 AM
@Tom TK Krauss: Thanks for posting information! I'll put it in the article and on our Facebook page. Joe Vince Local editor, Frankfort
Lisa Chudzik January 06, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Joe we have a ton of clothes. Gift cards and donations will be so helpful at this time. As I sit here and cry please thank everyone for everything. U have no idea how much this helps. Also have people continue to pray for us, especially joey. I'm sure u know he has down syndrome and his routine is gone. Thank you. Lisa Chudzik
Shari January 11, 2012 at 09:12 PM
While looking for a preschool for my daughter, I came across St. Peters website, where it was posted about this fire. Joey and my son went to preschool together years back. I will never forget Lisa either. Hindsight, I believe we crossed paths for a reason. My second son has apraxia. Thru talking with Lisa at preschool, hearing about what she had to fight for, for her son Joey, for his educational needs, was a learning experience for myself. Little did I realize at the time, I would recall a lot of the info she told me for my son when he started school. She showed me the fight that you need inside of you for your childs educational needs. For that, I am forever grateful to her. I have posted this article on my facebook page in case anyone else in the area can help. I will definately contact the numbers above to see what is needed. Our prayers are with them. Glad everyone is safe, too!

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