The devastating fire that ripped through Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford last month killed two people and left another 40 displaced.

In the days that came after, members of the SouthCoast community came together to support the displaced families. City Councilor Ian Abreu and Jason Costa, the owner of the building that was destroyed in the fire, came up with the idea for a clothing and furniture drop and contacted Jim Murray of the Kilburn Mil to put it into action as soon as humanly possible.

"I had remembered that the Mill had an entire floor of clothing sitting there and they’re looking to do something with, so I called and asked Jim Murray, one of the owners, and he said absolutely. No questions asked," Abreu said.

The Kilburn Mill provided what it had, but asked the SouthCoast community for donations of children's clothing and toys, furniture, bedding, shoes, baby care items, adult clothing and more to help get the families get back on their feet during the challenging months to come. And boy, did the SouthCoast show up.

The Mill shared on its Facebook page that it was "overwhelmed with the generosity of the community donating items," and coming this weekend, there's another chance to help out that requires nothing but a good attitude and a few hours of your time.

Any and all volunteers are welcome to come to the Kilburn Mill on Rodney French Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 8 to help sort through donations so they can be packaged up for families. Kids are welcome to help out too, as long as they're accompanied by an adult that's 18 years or older.

If you're planning on helping out this weekend, please send the Kilburn Mill an email to let them know you'll be coming at

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