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How to Help Greenwood Recover

After a natural-gas explosion in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood that leveled three businesses on March 9, community members have banded together to help business owners affected by the blast.

The three businesses completely destroyed in the explosion were Neptune Coffee, Mr. Gyros and Greenwood Quick Shop. G&O Family Cycles neighbored the blast epicenter and was heavily damaged as well. In addition, the explosion damaged over thirty other businesses and injured nine firefighters.

The Phinney Neighborhood Association and the PNA Business Advisory Group have come up with action plan to help the business rebuild and repair damages. They have set up a website to receive donations.

In addition, a local barista group has set up a Gofundme to support the Neptune Coffee baristas and to fund repairs to businesses. As of March 15 they raised over $46,000 of their $50,000 goal. Commenters on the site have asked to raise the goal. A representative from NW Space Agency -- a local 501 non-profit -- and a Facebook group called Baristas Guild of Washington State started the campaign. The campaign site reports $25,000 of the funds will go directly to Neptune employees and the other funds to surrounding businesses like the Angry Beaver.

“As soon as I know those business owners and employees we will begin distributing the funds to them as well,” wrote a representative of the campaign.

The Gofundme account was not the only action taken on by community members. Many local businesses hosted benefits for the ones affected by the explosion. Indeed, there was overwhelming support from the brewing community with Greenwood breweries, Naked City Brewing and Flying Bike Coop Brewery, and Ballard breweries, Lucky Envelope Brewing, Populuxe Brewing , Stoup Brewing and Reuben’s Brews all donating proceeds from fundraisers.

Stretch and Staple is also donating all the proceeds from last Friday's artwalk to the affected businesses.

Mr. Gyros, owned by Sammy and Joni Arsheed, issued a thank you letter on their website mentioning the gratitude they have for the community after the tragic accident. “Thank you for all of the outpouring love and support through this difficult and emotional time. With the help of everyone, Mr. Gyros Greenwood will bounce back, rebuild and be stronger than ever. … On behalf of the Mr. Gyros family, we thank you and will see you again soon in Greenwood.”

Other gratitude from affected businesses was posted on other their websites and Facebook pages.

Shane Harms writes for the Ballard News Tribune

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