Communities around the metro stepped up big for an apartment complex in Southeast Dallas after toys meant for families in need were destroyed in a fire Tuesday.
That fire decimated a building at the Asante Apartments.
According to investigators with the Dallas Fire Department, the blaze was started by a space heater.
The fire didn’t displace anyone immediately or result in any injuries, but it did destroy the offices of Quest 4 Greater Success—a non-profit that helps the area by offering food donations, after-school programs, and help with job searches.
The blaze even destroyed the non-profit’s computer lab which was used by many in the apartment complex.
The biggest blow came when Assata Thomas, Executive Director of Quest 4 Greater Success, learned that toys she had collected for 54 families at the complex were destroyed.
“Some of these families have to use their money for food, and not for toys—so we wanted to make sure that each family here got toys for their kids on Christmas,” Thomas said.
After news of the fire spread on Tuesday, toy donations poured in all week and were kept at the J.C. Turner Recreation Center.
Those toys were handed out at the complex Saturday morning. The best part? So many people donated, there were enough toys for 182 families.
Before the fire, Thomas said the non-profit could only afford to help 54.
“We had corporate sponsors, individual sponsors, and donors—it’s just been amazing,” Thomas said.
Now, Thomas is working to get her non-profit back on its feet. She says her first step is putting up a portable building near the complex so it can resume service to the community.
But until then, she says she’s she'll be enjoying the smiles of all the children who got a toy.
“I want all of these families to have a great Christmas, and we were able to do just that.”