UPDATED 9.4.2012 by Julie Montanaro
The state fire marshal's office is still investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed the Heartland House last week.
Karen Condry, President of the Foster and Adoptive Parent Association, says they are still trying to figure out when and where they'll set up shop again.
"To us, monetarily, it's about $15,000," Condry said of the damages. "To our families, a whole lot, because we don't have any place to meet. We don't have any place to really supply the services that we were giving when this happened."
Condry says the fire started in the office and appeared to be an electrical fire.
A spokeswoman with the state fire marshal's office could not confirm that. She says they are still investigating.
Tallahassee, Florida- August 31, 2012
On August 26, the Tallahassee Area Foster and Adoptive Parent Association (TAFAPA) Heartland House Resource Center for foster and adoptive parents was completely destroyed by a fire. The association is reaching out to the community for volunteers and donations as the rebuilding process begins.
“This loss was catastrophic but will not douse our passion for ensuring our foster and adoptive parents are supported,” said TAFAPA’s President, Karen Condry. “We desperately need the community’s help in the coming months so we can rebuild. The support will build stronger families and ensure our children in foster care have every chance to grow up to be successful adults.”
Since 2000, area foster, adoptive and relative caregivers found ongoing support, resources and training 24 hours a day at the Heartland House. The house had a well-stocked resource closet where foster parents could get diapers, clothing, and other supplies for children who required emergency placement in foster care with little or nothing. A library gave parents resources to help them provide supportive, nurturing and healing environments for children who have experienced profound trauma. It was also a place where youth could gain peer support and get materials to help develop independent living skills.
There are many ways to help:
· To volunteer, contact the association president at
· Many items such as duffle bags, toiletries, diapers, toys, etc. are
needed for the children. A complete list of items can be found here:
http://tafapa.org/Donation/Kits4Kids/. Please call (850) 778-5506 and leave a message if you would like to donate items or gift
certificates for items. The TAFAPA will gladly pick up your donations.
· Monetary contributions can be made by check payable to TAFAPA and dropped off at any branch of Florida Commerce Credit Union or mailed to TAFAPA, Post Office Box 4162, Tallahassee, FL 32315. You can also donate through PayPal at www.tafapa.org. All donations are tax deductible.
· The association is also seeking a location for its new home. If you
or your organization can offer a free or reduced cost space, building or property to support area foster and adoptive parents, please contact the association president at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAFAPA is working with the support of partners like the Department of
Children and Families and Big Bend Community Based Care and is developing a long-term plan for other needs and ways the Big Bend community can help them recover.
Special thanks are given to Sentry Self Service Storage, a DCF Partner for Promise, for donating three months of storage space free of charge.
The Department’s “Partners for Promise” initiative encourages Florida
businesses of all sizes to share their time, talent and resources to help families in need. To get your business involved, please visit
Our community needs more local homes for local children in foster care. You can help change the lives of children in this area by becoming a foster parent today. If you want to support foster parents or learn more about the "Fostering Florida's Future" initiative, please visit http://www.fosteringflorida.com/.
For more information about TAFAPA and the Heartland House, visit