New Year’s Eve House Fire Sparks Community Aid

(Last Updated On: September 17, 2016)

by Allison Stalberg

 After being gone for the holidays, Hillary Meredith, her sister Ashley, and their tenant, Jennifer Bedrosian, returned to Greensboro to find charcoal smeared walls and ash. On New Year’s Eve, a fire had turned their home and belongings into embers.When asked to detail what had been lost, Hillary Meredith said, “My room was burnt to a crisp. There was nothing there.”Along with the lives of two cats, Hillary, Ashley, and Jennifer had lost nearly everything, furniture, clothes”¦the things normally taken for granted, save for a couple sentimental belongings. Hillary recovered a small but meaningful item, her Grandmother’s wedding ring.Hillary Meredith is a manager with Action Greensboro, a nonprofit organization dedicated to initiatives that enhance the city’s livability. The executive director of Action Greensboro and friend of Hillary, Cecilia Thompson, began a fundraiser to help restore what has been lost.Cecilia said that Hillary has given a lot to the city through her work with Action Greensboro, and now it was time for the city to return the favor.Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan plans to attend the fundraising event. The Mayor said she was saddened by Hillary, Ashley, and Jennifer’s loss of personal items like photographs. “Fire is especially devastating when it takes your personal mementos.”In her interview, Mayor Vaughan’s said, “I think Greensboro is a great city and this is a great way to help each other.”Since the fire, Hillary has been home seeking. She has received aid from both friends and strangers. Many have offered her places to stay, donations of clothes, furniture, and money.On the Facebook wall of the fundraiser, supportive and generous messages are in abundance with comments like, “Message me your clothing and shoe sizes…between my sisters and I, we have lots of things to share” and “I have guest rooms I am happy to extend and I am just around the corner.”The fundraising event takes place on Friday, Jan. 8, from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at the Greenhill Art Gallery. There will be light food as well as music from local musicians such as The Magpie Thief and Alan Peterson.There are other ways to help Hillary, Ashley, and Jennifer as well. Checks can be dropped off at the Action Greensboro office.There are also online fundraisers where anyone can donate to Hillary, Ashley, and Jennifer. Hillary and Ashley’s fund is at And Jennifer’s fund is at: