Joshua Tree: Donations buy home for Joshua Tree family living in makeshift shelter

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In 9 days, more than half of the $100,000 goal has been donated by 629 people to the family of Mona Kirk, Daniel Panico and 3 kids. Gofundme.   Jackie Klear, who has known the family for 10 years, who started the gofundme donations and who is a co-ed scouting  leader — said the children were not malnourished or neglected but the family had fallen on hard times.   Desert Sun


Desert Sun

“I’m in shock” over the significant response, said Jackie Klear, who a week ago started a account to raise money for Daniel Panico, 73, and Mona Kirk, 51, and their three children.

Friends of a family separated after police found them living in squalid conditions on their property in a remote part of Joshua Tree have raised enough money in one week to buy the family a home.

On Saturday, dozens of people – many who had never met the family – grabbed brooms, shovels, rakes, tree trimmers, sponges, mops and paint brushes and bgan cleaning the long-vacant house to make it ready for the family to move in.

On Friday, the owner of a long-vacant two-bedroom home – a friend of Klear’s – agreed to sell the home for $38,000, said Marsha Custodio, also a friend of Kirk and Panico.

“We want to show (Child Protective Services) that the family has an actual home to go to,” she said, as she stood in the living room. Around her, there was a flurry of work being done — one person swept, while another worked to pull up the carpeting.

The goal is to have the house move-in ready before the Kirk and Panico return to court on Tuesday for a hearing regarding custody of their children.

Extended story

By Sherry Barkas and Barrett Newkirk


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