Drive raises money for smoke detectors in memory of fire victims


Thousands of cans and bottles collected.

It’s how Amanda Johnson is remembering and honoring her sister Emilee.

“I think that she would be very proud right now,” Johnson said.

Less than eight months ago, Emilee, her unborn baby, and her 10-month-old daughter Autumn, tragically lost their lives in a fire.

“It was really difficult at first and I didn’t know how to cope,” Johnson said. “And they had a group on Facebook that was giving addresses, it was kind of that wine drop group. And I started doing smoke detector drops.  And it ended up being 130 people in just our area needed smoke detectors. So, we started this foundation to help them.”

The W2 foundation was created by Amanda and her father, with Emilee in mind.

“We are trying to give smoke detectors to families that don’t have them, and we are also going to have a scholarship for a student with epilepsy,” she said.

Emilee had epilepsy and Johnson says, it’s her sister that keeps her going.

“Emilee was so caring,” she said. “She would do anything for anyone.  She was just so happy about things. She wanted to help people.  And that’s what’s motivating me, knowing that she would want to be doing this and she would want to help people, even though she’s not here anymore.”

Can and bottle drives took place in three locations Sunday, in an effort to fulfill Johnson’s goal of supplying 35 families with smoke detectors.

“It feels amazing that I can help more families,” she said. “Being able to take my passion of social work and turn it into helping others for my sister has been amazing.”

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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