By Tim Leeds/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
The Big Sandy community is coming together to help a family after a September fire destroyed its belongings.
The Andrades lost much of their belongings when a first-floor fire started early in the morning of Sept. 21 in the kitchen of the home they rented. The family had no rental insurance to replace the items, Michelle Andrade said, including clothes, personal items, a refrigerator, television, furniture, stereo equipment and a microwave oven.
"Basically everything," she said.
Friends of the Andrades are holding a benefit Friday for the family, with all proceeds going toward replacing their possessions, organizer Maggie Cline said.
"It's kind of a community involvement event," she added.
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a fraternal benefit society, will match contributions of members of the local Thrivent Financial chapter, up to $2,500, said the Rev. Jeffrey Stoopes of Christ Lutheran Church in Big Sandy.
Few rentals are available in Big Sandy, Andrade said, so the family is staying with a friend while it applies for a loan to buy a house.
Michelle Andrade and her husband, Ron, both work for Big Sandy Activities. Ron Andrade also works as a cook at Q's Cafe in Big Sandy.
The benefit will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Jerry Martin Community Hall with a $5 spaghetti dinner. Donated items will be auctioned at the benefit.
Live entertainment will begin at 8 p.m., with the Great Falls country band Pollo Loco donating its performance.
Cline said donations to the Andrade benefit fund, which has an account at Wells Fargo bank in Big Sandy, can be earmarked toward specific areas, such as furniture or clothes for the Andrade children.
The family has three children still at home: Aizyk, 11, Aaryk, 12, and Aaron, 17.
Michelle Andrade said her family has another big event this weekend. Aaron Andrade is a member of the high school football team, which will play in Wibaux Saturday in a semifinal Class C eight-man playoff game.
"We're hoping for the Big Sandy Pioneers to win," she added.