It was only a matter of days before Dearing Country Farms in rural Danvers was back in operation and owner Brad Dearing was back teaching at University High in Normal after an overnight fire Sept. 16 destroyed the home he built for his family in rural Danvers nearly 15 years ago.
Dearing said the three F’s (family, friends and faith) have helped him through such an ordeal as he, wife Jackie and their three young children put their lives back together.
“Every day I say this as testimony. Every day you wake up you have this choice to make whether you are going to be positive for the day or go into a negative mode,” Dearing said, suddenly stopping himself as he chokes back tears while surveying the destruction caused by a massive fire at his home three weeks earlier.
Fire crews were able to keep the flames from the family’s four-acre farm as the blaze raged for hours, but their home and all of its contents were destroyed.
The family of five, along with their dog and cat, escaped unhurt.
Dearing said he is humbled by the outpouring of support the family has received from their farm and church communities and the public at large, even strangers.
“You just don’t realize how many people care about you,” Dearing said. “When disaster strikes like this, people step up and help you with your needs and even your wants in a lot of cases.”
The Dearings have been regular vendors at the Bloomington Farmers Market for years. The market is accepting gift cards to Menards, Target, Kohl's, Farm and Fleet, Schnuck's, Hy-Vee, Meijer, Walmart, Common Ground, and Green Top Grocery for the Dearings.
The gift cards can be dropped off at Common Ground and Green Top Grocery in Bloomington or the Bloomington Downtown Development Division inside the Government Center at 115 E. Washington St.
Volunteers from Eastview Christian Church in Normal where the Dearings attend have also sent volunteers to the Dearing home to help with cleanup.
The Dearings are now living in a rental home after the Red Cross put them up in a hotel temporarily.
A GoFundMe page has raised close to $22,000 from more than 320 donors to help the family get back on its feet.
Investigators don't know what caused the fire. Dearing said he plans to rebuild their home at the site.
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