Flood of support Community rallies for young mother

By on September 21, 2011

By: STEPHEN SEEBER Record Express Staff, Staff Writer

A week ago, Alicia Estabrook and her daughter Tiffany were homeless, unemployed flood victims, grateful to be alive and to have each other.

Today, they have a community of support, helping them to get back on their feet.

Since last week’s report in the Record Express, which documented Estabrook’s death-defying experience in raging flood waters along Route 322, dozens have stepped forward to help the single mother.

The story of her rescue, spearheaded by a group of ingenious firefighters from Brickerville, was incredible.

The story of what happens afterward is seldom told. Estabrook’s car was swept away and totaled, along with it most of her belongings. She and her daughter have spent the last week in a Red Cross shelter. She was homeless, jobless and without much support since she recently moved to this area from Oklahoma.

Her plight touched the heart of the Lititz community. Dozens called the Record Express, wanting to help.

"It’s been amazing," said Nicky Donley, a close friend, who has fielded calls from people who want to help with clothes, baby needs, transportation and temporary housing.

Also, she said, the local towing company that was holding her car and charging storage fees dropped all costs incurred. She said the owner was unaware of Estabrook’s situation, until he read about it in the newspaper.

"It’s just awesome how people are opening up their hearts to people who need a boost," Donley added. "Her and the baby are very happy. You’d think she’d be at a low point. She’s just happy to be alive."

Penn Cinema has also joined the effort.

Aimee Ketchum, of the local movie theater, has organized a fundraiser in which 100 percent of the proceeds will go to Estabrook.

A showing of the new film "Courageous" (to be released Sept. 30) is planned for Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 a person. Ketchum said Estabrook will be there, possibly joined by her rescuers.

"As soon as I read the story in the Lititz Record, I just couldn’t stop thinking about her," Ketchum said, "because she had the baby with her, and I was imaging her going through that ordeal. It just made me want to reach out and try to help her."

She said Estabrook chose "Courageous," a film about emergency responders’ struggles on the job and at home, because she wanted to honor the people who rescued her.

For more information about this upcoming fund-raiser, contact aimeek@ptd.net.

At the moment, Estabrook and her 18-month-old daughter are staying with a friend in Pottsville for a few days (the Red Cross facility closed Tuesday), and she is trying to make some money as a make-up sales rep.

"We’re really happy every day," she said. "We’re staying positive."

Those interested in helping can communicate through e-mail at angelicglide@gmail.com. More SUPPORT, page A15