Every now and then a member of my online community has a problem. That’s not unusual. People experience hardships. The response of the community to the hardships is the unusual part. I used to be surprised at the generosity and care exhibited by this group of people who are united by their love of companion animals and separated by miles and miles of land and ocean.

I’ve known these people for three years now, so I was not at all surprised at the outpouring of support when a community member who lives in Kansas recently lost her home to fire. Almost immediately, one of my friends had opened a Chip In page for us to contribute cash to hep the family start over. Within a day, we had contributed almost $1000. By now, more than a week after the devastating apartment building fire, the Chip In fund has $3,350 and is still growing. (Look in the sidebar to the right for the link.)

Next, the family — a couple, their cat and guinea pig — stayed briefly with a nearby community member. Then, the quilters among us started planning a community quilt to give to Amy. I’ll be making a nine-patch block and my mom is one of the piecers-in-chief for a rail fence block that will give the non-quilters in our group the opportunity to sign a block and share their love to the family. Wanda, a quilter of amazing energy and verve, designed the quilt and will be assembling it once we’ve all had a hand in it.

Along the way, we learned that another animal lover had also lost her home in the fire and one of her kitties didn’t make it out. Her surviving kitty was badly burned but got good emergency care and was OK. (Here’s the part that amazes me although I should expect this sort of response from this group of people by now.) We hadn’t met her, online or otherwise, and my friends set up a ChipIn to help Kathi and her cat CJ as well. (Look in the sidebar to the right for the link.) I believe there are plans for a quilt for them to be made when Amy and Sebastian’s quilt is finished.

I am proud to call these generous people my friends.

I drew a picture of CJ, which is my way of mustering positive energy for animals in distress who are far away from me, and sent it to Kathi, so she will have some art for the walls of her new home (once she settles in again). We’re taking pre-orders of CJ cards at our ArtFire store now, and we’ll contribute all the proceeds from the sale of this card to the fund for CJ and Kathi.

I hope you’ll consider buying a card or two for CJ and his mom.

To see how CJ is doing in his recovery or to check in on Sebastian and his, drop by A Tonk’s Tail blog for the details of their stories and the progress they’re making to start over after the fire.

Direct link to the fund for Sebastian and Amy.

Direct link to the fund for CJ and Kathi.