MALTA – At 10 a.m. Saturday, the DeKalb American Legion Riders gifted four Blain’s Farm & Fleet gift cards to the Isom family, who lost their home in Malta to a house fire in October. The gift cards totaled $200 and are intended for the family to use as they need as they move into the months after the blaze.
The gift cards derived from the rider’s Toys for Tots run at Sycamore’s Blain’s Farm & Fleet in October. There, the riders spent about $9,000 on toys to be distributed to DeKalb County families in need for the holidays.
Instead of taking the usual 5% off the final price, Blain’s Farm & Fleet gave the organization $50 in gift cards for every $1,000 spent.
This generated nine gift cards for the riders to distribute to county residents needing assistance.
DeKalb’s American Legion assistant director James Brantley headed the gifting to the Isom family – firefighter Mike, his wife, Jill, and their two sons. Mike and Jill Isom both were present to receive the gift cards and thank the riders.
“This is what we’re here for,” Brantley said. “To help people if we can. I know it may not be much, but every little bit counts.”
Seven members showed up for the event, and the Isom’s led the group to the site of their former home, less than a block from the firehouse. Little stands there now beyond the concrete foundation, a basketball hoop and a large dumpster being used in the cleanup.
“This was everyone’s home we all grew up in,” Jill Isom said. “It’s weird for it to be gone. But everyone always asks us how we got through it, and we tell them that our circle in our community is stronger, so that’s how we get to be strong.”
Mike Isom agreed with his wife, adding, “We’ve been overwhelmed with people willing to help us.”
The Isoms said they were grateful for the efforts of their community and the American Legion Riders for their support as they move forward. Jill Isom said that focusing on the present was key for the family in their recovery.
“We’re just trying to reestablish our family unit and our own space,” she said. “We’re just trying to figure it out. Take it day-by-day and tackle it as it comes.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle