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Langhorne Lawyer Leads Fundraising Efforts for Victims of Tinicum Fire

A Tinicum family's tragic loss of their home and pets in a fire has rallied the community to their aid.

Heidi Schuster and her two daughters returned to their neighborhood on Dogwood Lane in Tinicum on Dec. 16 to see one of the worst sights a homeowner can witness, their house in flames.

Crews from the Delaware Valley Volunteer Fire Company did what they could that night, but the devastating damage had been done, with the home completely burned to the ground and five of their family dogs and one rabbit dead, according to the Morning Call.

As Schuster, currently living in her nearby mother's home with her daughters and two remaining dogs, begins rebuilding her life, the community has rallied around her family to help them out. Those efforts include a fundraising web page set up by a fellow Palisades High School graduate, Todd Sailer.

An attorney with Begley, Carlin & Mendio in Langhorne, Sailer has raised more than $12,000 on GiveForward.com, with one day left to reach the $15,000 goal.

"it was originally set up with a $10,000 goal, but we flew right past that after one week," said Sailer. "I figured we should keep going and see how much extra help we could get."

Local family and neighbors had already started gathering food and clothing for the Schusters in the wake of the tragedy, Sailer said, but nothing had been established for monetary donations. He spoke to another friend who had experience with online fundraising and posted the request as quickly as possible. With a strong push on Facebook and other social media, the money began flowing into the site.

"I sent out requests to all of our clients, which got a great response," said Sailer. A link to the fundraising site has also been posted to his firm's homepage.

With 38 hours left to donate, the site has collected $12,400 from 38 users, averaging more than $300 per person. To help out, click on "Give Now" and provide credit card information and leave a message for the family.

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