Community activist Almeta Crayton collecting donations for area family

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 | 6:20 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A Tuesday fire on McBaine Avenue took away everything from a Columbia family, but a community activist is spearheading the effort to help rebuild their lives.

Almeta Crayton, who spent 12 years as the First Ward's city councilwoman, is well known in the community for helping out when others need it. After starting kidney dialysis three years ago, she said, she hasn't been able to organize as many events in the area, but  added that people still turn to her when they need help.

"People are still comfortable coming to me," Crayton said.

The American Red Cross placed the family in a motel for two nights, but the homeowner came to Crayton for help.

After Thursday, the family won't have a place to stay, Crayton said.

"My question is, where she's going to stay after that?" she said. "When you lose everything, what are you supposed to do?"

Crayton is collecting monetary and material donations for the family, but until the family finds a place to stay, any large items will need to be kept in storage.

"I guess it's up to the public to step in," she said.

Crayton said anyone who wants to help should call her at 825-5263.

Supervising editor is Celia Darrough.

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