Above All in Above All in SERVICESM Extends Beyond Customers

Community members gather at the auction to raise money for the uninsured family who lost their source of income in a fire.

Nov. 11, 2011 - In the remote city of Viroqua, Wis., residents look out for their neighbors. That’s why when Wisconsin Property Claims Supervisor Angie Clark’s husband came home with news that their Amish neighbor’s wood shop was on fire, she knew she had to help.

“The local Amish culture does not allow the purchase of or reliance on traditional insurance,” Angie says, “so I knew right away that they didn’t have any.”

Thankfully, the family, their animals and their home were unharmed. Unfortunately, the wood shop — the family’s main source of income — was destroyed. Knowing the shops’ importance to her neighbors’ livelihood, Angie teamed up with members of the community to hold an auction benefitting the family’s rebuilding efforts.

Remains of the woodshop after a fire destroyed it.

The group distributed hundreds of flyers to both the Amish and non-Amish communities. Donations of all types came rushing in. “We had a wide variety,” Angie says. “From a pair of socks to farm equipment — someone even donated a camper.” The most coveted donations were the 60 pieces of hand-crafted furniture donated by Amish communities from as far as 100 miles away.

The auction, which was held Oct. 21, raised $26,000 for the family. As of early November, the structure is standing and awaiting insulation. The family is currently purchasing tools and equipment and hope to resume business late this winter or early spring.

The family’s new woodshop after rebuilding.

“That’s Angie Clark,” says Steve Hassman, Wisconsin claims manager. “Going the extra mile and doing the right thing. She saw a neighbor who needed help and in a most personal and caring way took action and helped the neighbor out in their time of need. The Wisconsin Branch is very proud to have someone of her caliber working for ERIE.”