Mike and Michelle Levenhagen, who last week lost the majority of their belongings in a house fire, are on the receiving end of their community’s generosity.
“We are just humbled by the community and how they’ve come together for us,” Mike Levenhagen, Dallas Center-Grimes girls’ basketball coach, said.
The DC-G community raised $652 in a car wash on Sunday morning and multiple donations have been given to the family.
A basketball tournament also was held Sunday where DC-G faculty, student players and community members came out in support of the Levenhagen’s.
“There’s probably as many people here as a regular basketball game,” Michelle Levenhagen, a 4th grade teacher at Woodward-Granger, said. “It just re-affirms our faith and is so overwhelming to see how great the community is. People are just so kind.”
A fire consumed the Levenhagen home last Tuesday, destroying most of the family’s belongings except for a roll-top desk.
Although it is still unclear how the fire started, the family expressed how thankful they were that no one was inside.
“It had to have happened fast,” Michelle Levenhagen said. “Our two dogs were inside, but they were saved. The basement has a lot of water damage, but the upstairs is really bad.”
Their daughter, Rebecca, 21, was the first to witness the damage.
“I saw the flames and my first thought was ‘Are the dogs safe?’”, she said. “My dog happened to be inside but someone saw the fire and got them out safely.”
The Levenhagen’s other daughter, Kelsey, 24, said she didn’t comprehend what happened until she relayed the information to her eldest sister, Sarah, who lives in Colorado.
“I saw the damage, but I didn’t really get it until I told my sister,” she said. “Then I was like this is really bad.”
Currently, the family is living at the local AmericInn but is looking at temporary housing options. The family said they would like to eventually rebuild on the same lot.
“We really like the area and our neighbors so I can’t imagine us living anywhere else,” Michelle Levenhagen said.
Even though the Levenhagen’s will bounce back on their feet again, Rebecca Levenhagen said the communities’ support has been overwhelming.
“People who I’ve never seen in years or people who I’ve never met have come up to me and offered to help,” she said. “It’s so nice to see people support my parents because they are so selfless. It’s really meant a lot.”
Those who would like to support the Levenhagen’s can send monetary donations to P.O. Box 590, 100 NE Jacob St. Grimes, Iowa 50111 Phone: (515) 986-2265 or drop them off at City State Bank. Donations can also be taken to the DC-G High School or Woodward-Granger School.
The cause of the fire is still an ongoing investigation. Grimes Fire and Rescue, assisted by the cities of Urbandale, Johnston, Ankeny, Waukee, Windsor Heights, Granger, Fraser Ambulance, Grimes City Works and Mid- American Energy, controlled the fire.