Community support has rallied around Sarah, or “Sally” Swiecki ever since the Sierra Star reported on her North Fork home burning down in February. This includes the assistance of Oakhurst’s Helping One Woman, or H.O.W., which will have a fundraising dinner at El Cid’s restaurant 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 20.
Swiecki, 86, lost her home to the blaze on Feb. 25, which also claimed nearly all of her possessions except the clothes on her back, one of her vehicles, and her Bible, which somehow survived the flames.
“I told people the flames of Hell will not burn God’s word,” Swiecki told the Sierra Star. “And the flames on Earth had hidden from Him at my house.”
Jannai Pero said she was moved by that story - as well as Swiecki’s good-natured response to the fire - and was able to spend the day with her, helping to track down new clothes, books, and more.
“Things got especially interesting as we were leaving” a yard sale, Pero said. “Sally mentioned she used to be a red-hatter, that organization where the women who meet for tea wear hats of that color.”
The man running the yard sale, Todd, asked them to wait and brought out a red hat, Pero said, still in its box along with a ‘red hatter’s scarf’ to go with it.
“Sally took our her singed Bible and showed it to Todd,” Pero said. “She said God had arranged for the two of them to meet to bless her in a special way through his generosity. The feeling was mutual.”
Pero worked to have H.O.W. add Swiecki to their list of women to help throughout the Mountain Area. The dinner will act as a kind of fundraiser for Swiecki.
Monetary donations or gifts for a prize drawing are welcomed, and can be left at Tokens Gift and Thrift. The suggested donation for the El Cid’s dinner is $10 per person, as well as an opportunity to purchase tickets for the prize drawing.
Swiecki has since moved into an apartment in Oakhurst, with insurance and an online donation campaign, gofundme.com/sallyswiecki, helping to further assist her transition to the new location.
Details: Nancy Fikkert, (559) 658-5428.