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Local volunteers help Guatemalan fire survivors - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Local volunteers help Guatemalan fire survivors

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

A group of volunteers from the Northeast Kingdom is doing everything they can to help survivors of a fire at a Guatemalan shelter for girls.

Forty girls died in the fire. Twenty survivors are being moved to an orphanage where local volunteers have just returned from. The group is from Lyndonville United Methodist Church. They say they're trying to raise money to the help the shelter where the kids are being moved.

They say it costs $500 a month to take care of each child. With 20 displaced girls moving there, that's about $10,000 more a month needed for care.

Fifteen year-old Colby Zaun just got back from volunteering in Guatemala. “It’s friendly, they are in families. it's one the best things you can have for them,” says Zaun, “besides being with their family.” She was part of a group of 27 volunteers who go down once a year.

Dan Thompson led the mission. He says they didn't volunteer at the shelter where the fire happened, but it still hit them hard. That's becaus, they know the kind of neglect and abuse that children in orphanages have been through.

Another church leader, Jim Proctor from United Methodist Church, also worries about the impact on the orphanage where the displaced girls are being moved. “Those kids are going to have some serious issues, that the simple fact is they are going to disrupt the life at Shadow of his Wings orphanage,” says Proctor.

Some local volunteers will be heading back down next month to help with the transition.   

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