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Girl Founds Relief Charity After Losing Her Home To Fire

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Lauren Hontz with some donations for Lauren's Luggage. (Credit: The Hontz Family)

Lauren Hontz with some donations for Lauren’s Luggage. (Credit: The Hontz Family)

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC)- After her Hanover home was destroyed by a fire in July, 9-year-old Lauren Hontz felt first-hand what it’s like to lose almost all earthly possessions.

Soon afterward, she started dedicating her time to helping others facing the same kind of hardship.

Lauren’s Luggage is the name she’s given to her charity, which provides victims of residential fires with suitcases full of comfort items and toiletries. She dispenses her care packages through fire halls and hospitals.

A few pieces of luggage made it to Howard County Saturday when Lauren was invited to Station 7 by the captain, who heard about her efforts, WUSA-9 reports.

Lauren’s Luggage has a website and a Facebook page with more than 1,000 fans, which has helped spread the word about the charity and gotten her invited to several firehouses in the region for tours.  In addition to dropping off care packages at the stations, Lauren sometimes receives funds for more supplies, as well.

She has also gotten donations from individuals and businesses in the community who have been touched by her story. One large gift came in the form of 80 quilts, from a woman who likes to sew. Another was a bundle of children’s clothes from a kids’ consignment store.

“Lauren has put her heart into this and truly cares about each package she puts together… we as her parents are thrilled to see that Lauren has chosen to make something positive come from her loss,” Lauren’s parents wrote on the charity’s webpage.

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