by Justin Dunbar
Mills High School underwent a shelter in place on August 23 due to billows of smoke rising from a nearby house fire. Visible across the street from the football field, the burnt down house belonged to the family of Mills sophomore, Tim Oeij. Severe damage to the entire house renders it unlivable for Tim and his family. For the time being, Tim is staying at a friend’s apartment, until his family decides on their plans for their future living situation.
When asked how the fire has affected him, Tim replied,“It’s weird to adjust. I’m used to my house, but I’m not in my house.” To help him get through these rough times, he is relying on his family’s support.
To aid Tim’s family in recovering, those in the Mills community have rallied around him in fundraising efforts. Information about how you can donate will be found at the end of this article. When asked about these efforts, Tim said, “I think that fundraising is a great way to help us get money. I’m pretty happy about it.” He is also grateful for the amount of care and help his friends provided him following the fire and is also very grateful for the kind donations made by Mills, as they have given him a computer. clothes, as well as toys for his little sister to play with. “Tim has such a durable positive attitude,” his good friend Raymond went on to say, “from my point of view, “Tim seems to be recovering well, but I’m sure there is a lot of stress regarding him and his family.”
Fortunately for Tim and his family, including his dog, Bacon, there were no injuries caused by the fire. Tim assures that his family is doing fine, and he continues to attend school and try to live his normal life. “We [Mills community] seem to be doing a good job as a community,” says Raymond. “Lets keep it up.” To conclude his interview, Tim wanted to share, “On a scale from one to ten, [a fire will make] you will feel like a zero. Just stay strong.”
To donate to Tim and his family, text “Donate” to 1 (415) 799-6852. The link to the fundraiser page will then be sent to you. Schoolwide fundraising efforts led by the Mills Leadership class are expected soon.
Photo Credits: Cara Ip & Daniel Xuereb, The Thunderbolt