"Friend in Need" giveaway helps motel fire survivors


The sixth annual "Friends in Need" giveaway gives those in the Benton Harbor area help if needed.

Word Up Ministries Apostolic Church organized the giveaway, in hopes to help the community and survivors of the Cosmo Extended Motel fire.

Those who came had their choice of furniture, clothes, shoes, decorations and even getting a haircut.

"We want to give back to the community and those in need," said Pastor O.C. Isom Jr. "That they may be blessed as well”.

Benton Harbor City Commissioner Edward Isom says the best thing they can do is give to others.

"Right now we are giving to the families that had a loss," said Edward Isom. "Not just life loss but they lost possessions."

Edward Isom says he hopes it's a way to uplift and bring joy to a tragedy.

"It’s my job to make sure the people of the community feel wanted and feel that we care about what happened with their loss," said Edward Isom.

Shannon Arndt watched her belongings go up in flames... but managed to save just a few memories.

"I went from a home with at least just a little bit of stuff to nothing in a matter of seconds," said Arndt.

Arndt says since the fire her focus hasn't been on herself or what she lost.

"When the fire happened I wasn’t worried about myself getting clothes, I was worried about trying to help the people at the shelter," said Arndt. "Now this is where I can focus on me and get the things I need."

She calls this giveaway the blessing she needed and thanks the communities support.

She says her life has turned around quickly compared to two weeks ago.

"I'm in a better position, my job is going well," said Arndt. "God has definitely restored his faith for me at least."

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