Noel community members will raise money for two young men who courageously helped others during a recent fire.
Neighbor Abdinasir Hussein Mohamed, 29, experienced severe burns after pulling a woman from the fire, which soon inflamed the African Grocery Store and adjoining mosque on Main Street. Tragically, he died last week from his burns.
Noel firefighter Blake Barrett, 22, was injured when a burnt beam fell on him as he entered the first building. He was taken to Mercy in Joplin, where doctors said he has three compression fractures on vertebrae No. 5, 7 and 8. Doctors prescribed rest and a brace before consulting with a neurosurgeon on Jan. 13.
Now, Noel neighbors are wanting to honor these two heroes by hosting a fundraiser. The bake sale and silent auction will benefit Mohamed and Barrett's families, according to organizer Deanna Berger.
The event will start at 10 a.m. this Sunday, Jan. 10, in front of the old Harp's store on Main Street.
Several residents who have banded together call the effort, "Community In Action," and feel the need to help those who suffered a great deal.
Berger said several ideas were batted around after the devastating fire.
"We can talk for three days about doing something," she said, but she felt the need to just jump in and come up with a plan.
Several neighbors have volunteered to bring baked goods; businesses and individuals have donated items for a silent auction.
"It's a wonderful turnout of time and goods," she said.
The idea for the bake sale was born out of collaboration when several common elements were discovered: many who wish to help are working, bake, and have children. A bake sale seemed a great way to raise money and accomplish a coming together of community, Berger said.
"People are in shock and devastated. We want to come together, to ease that shock and devastation."
Noel is a unique place that celebrates 49 different cultures, Berger said. For those who lost the African Grocery Store and nearby mosque, the effect is just horrific.
"That was their sense of home," she said. "We are a close kind of community, and we had a compelling need to help our neighbors."
Berger and others pitching in have not set a specific fund-raising goal. Instead, they have jumped in and are hoping the community will support these two heroes' families.
She and others felt God called them to help. "We are doing our part," she said. "God will take care of the rest."
"Bids for the silent auction will close at 3 p.m.," she said. Funds immediately will be given to the two families after the event concludes, Berger added.
File Photo Firefighter Blake Barrett (far left) was injured in a Dec. 28 fire in Noel. A local fundraiser this Sunday will help his family with medical expenses, as well as the family of Abdinasir Hussein Mohamed, who tragically died after suffering from burns in the fire. Mohamed pulled a woman to safety, then later died at a Tulsa, Okla., hospital.