Nearly 37-weeks pregnant, lost everything in an apartment fire

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

The last time I saw my sweet friend Amy was in April, when a bunch of us college girlfriends gathered together in Knoxville to throw her a baby shower. We came from Dayton, Chattanooga, Chicago, and Charlotte—all to celebrate the new little boy that Amy and her husband Jon were bringing into the world in June. 

Amy chatted excitedly about the new apartment they’d be renting in Chicago. This one would be more spacious than the last, closer to work, perfect for the baby. She left Knoxville with a car full of baby clothes, diapers, equipment, and supplies. 

Then, on Thursday of last week, the unthinkable happened: Jon and Amy lost nearly everything they owned in an apartment fire.  (See the Chicago Tribune story here.)

Fortunately, no one was hurt, and Jon and Amy are blessed to have renters’ insurance.  But with Amy nearly 37 weeks pregnant, the timing could not be worse. They have been staying with friends, but do not yet have a “home” to which they can take their baby boy once he is born. 

I mentioned all of this on Twitter earlier, and was surprised and humbled by how many of you wanted to know how you could help. Well, here’s how:

  • A friend of theirs from Chicago has set up a donation page here.  
  • And if you live in Chicago, (as I know many of you do—it’s the blog’s most popular city!), you may want to stop by The Book Cellar on North Lincoln Ave. on May 31st at 7 p.m. for a fundraiser, baby shower, readings from local authors, and a raffle.  Might be a fun way to connect with the Chicago literary scene, and engage in those fun, slightly awkward conversations that happen when you meet people through a mutual friend. 

And, of course, you can always pray—for peace, for health, for hope, for Jon and Amy’s relationship, for Josh and Annie’s continued hospitality (they are amazing!), and for a sense of God’s presence through this difficult time. 

Thanks so much for your care and concern.

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