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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Single mother grateful for community’s help
Tara Meeks lost her home, belongings to a fire on July 5
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Courtesy Photo: Tara Meeks (left) and her children, Sierra and Memphis, lost all their belongings when their mobile home burned on July 5. Shown is one of the only remaining photos of Meeks and her children.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Tara Meeks of Ferrum is thankful for all the donations she has received from the community after a July 5 fire left her and her two children without a home or any belongings.

But donations will still be needed in order for the family to recoup everything they've lost.

On July 5, Meeks received word that her mobile home had been destroyed by fire.

"It was about 5 p.m. and I was on my way to pick up my daughter from a friend's house," said Meeks. "When I heard about my house, I didn't believe it at first. I thought it was some kind of joke."

Meeks picked her daughter up and hurried home to find nothing left but a pile of rubble.

"The whole thing was leveled," she said. "The roof was all that was left on top of ashes and beams. I just started crying."

Meeks said she had recently put a lot of money into remodeling the mobile home with new paneling, linoleum, carpet and an electric furnace.

All that was lost, but Meeks said the most upsetting part was losing her children's baby pictures and items they had made for her. She also lost all the photographs she had of her daughter's father, who died when the girl was a baby.

"We were only able to save two items from the entire trailer," said Meeks.

The items included a tealight candle with angel-shaped cutouts that casts the image of angels across the walls when it is lit.

The other item is a small ceramic box inscribed with the word "prayers."

"I'd write down prayers and stick them in that box," said Meeks. "It must be a sign that those two things were all that was left."

For now, Meeks and her children are staying with family and hoping to be able to afford rent somewhere else soon.

"I have friends who have arranged for me to rent a home at a much lower rate until I can get back on my feet," said Meeks. "I will need to be able to turn on the lights and water."

A donation website has been set up for the Meeks family and, so far, over $600 has been collected.

"So many people have been contacting me and trying to help," said Meeks. "People I don't even know are messaging me on Facebook and asking how they can help. It is very heartwarming. I never expected this. No one's ever done anything like that for me before."

Meeks' daughter, Sierra, 17, wears a size 13 in juniors. Her son, Memphis, 5, wears a 4T in pants and a 5T in shirts.

Monetary donations to the Meeks family are being accepted online at

Money and donations of household items, gift cards, gas cards, and clothing are also being accepted at the Franklin County Animal Shelter, where Meeks works part time, and at the Franklin County Public Safety building.

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