Cudahy family overwhelmed by donations after losing home to fire

CREATED Dec. 23, 2013

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CUDAHY – On the surface, Christmas is bleak for Carole and Jerry Jophlin.

A fire gutted their home last week. Now, they're living in a hotel with their two girls.

"They're trying to get adjusted to where we're at, as far as being in a hotel, you know. I'd think they'd like to get out and run around a little bit," Jerry explained.

The family was left with nothing. They couldn't go home for the holidays.

In response, a community rallied to bring the comforts of home to them.

Cudahy's mayor called for donations for the Jophlins. That request was answered at a level no one expected.

"We were receiving calls from as far away as Racine and Kenosha, past the North shore of Milwaukee, in Oconomowoc--people just offering donations and offering to bring things in," said Mayor John Hohenfeldt.

The Jophlins now have an entire storage space filled with food, clothes, and toys for the children. This family is floored by the kindness of strangers.

"You have been so outstanding,” Carole Jophlin said of community members.

“More than outstanding. I don't think even 'outstanding' describes it. This is so overwhelming."