Co-workers help Stuyvesant woman after house fire | WNYT.com

Co-workers help Stuyvesant woman after house fire

Kumi Tucker
Updated: February 23, 2021 07:14 PM
Created: February 23, 2021 06:32 PM

TROY - Sandy VanEck has worked for the Arc of Rensselaer County for 35 years. The organization works with people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. 

She's always doing something extra to help. 

Saturday, she lost her home and her beloved cat.  

"Honestly, I was beside myself," said co-worker Amber Mulford. "I just couldn't imagine what Sandy was going through. I work with her every single day."

In the winter weather, crews were busy with a fire at Sandy's house on Saturday in Stuyvesant. 

She and her niece left their home to visit family when they lost power. Later, she got a message that there was a fire at her house. 

Two cats were rescued, but one died.

Sandy says her neighbors stood with her in the cold the night of the fire and offered all kinds of help. 

Co-worker Amber Mulford tried a GoFundMe for the first time, hoping for maybe $1,000. It's already up to almost $7,000. 

"She's very overwhelmed with the outpouring of love from people she does know, doesn't know. She told me today she just didn't realize what an impact she's made on so many people. Or that they thought of her in this way to help," said Mulford.  

We heard plenty of people ask after her at the Arc. She's a well-known member of a work community that prides itself on caring for others. 

"She's always involved in different projects and helping out in the community, and helping us," said Don Mullin, CEO of the Arc of Rensselaer County. "And one of the things is helping families find that program that's right for their son or daughter, so a lot of people interact with her, especially if they're coming into our supports and services." 

Sandy said over the phone that the sense of community has been unreal, from the neighbors who stood with her out in the cold the night of the fire, to the support from her friends and coworkers. 

If you want to help, here's a link to the GoFundMe.


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