Following Tuesday’s tragic car accident that took the lives of six members of the Miranda-Rodriguez family, the Lodi community has come together to raise money for funerals and support for the one child from the family that survived the crash.
A number of fundraisers throughout Lodi have been set up in the two days following the accident, including a community garage sale and an account set up to take donations created by the employer of one of the deceased. A local pizza restaurant is planning on donating part of its proceeds on Tuesday to the family.
The bodies of Vivian Rodriguez, 31, who was pregnant, Luis Miranda, 30, and three of their children Irving, 11, Jose, 5, and Stephanie, 4, will be returned to Guerrero, Mexico to be buried, according to Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, the Mexican Consulate-General in Sacramento. He said the surviving member of the family, 9-year-old Eden Miranda, is recovering from his injuries at a local hospital.
Gonzalez Gutierrez said the Mexican government, through the consulate, will cover the costs of returning the bodies to Mexico, but money raised by Lodians can be used to help pay for funeral costs and to support Eden.
Shara Styles and Tracey Roletto used what has become an iconic image symbolizing the tragedy — a picture of the Lodi Arch at night with the Twitter hashtag #LODISTRONG overlaid that was first posted online by Rick’s Pizza on Tuesday night — to create a Lodi Strong Facebook page where they have been promoting a community garage sale they put together to raise money and promote other efforts across the area.
“I’m just a mom who runs a daycare who was extremely affected by what happened,” Styles said.
The garage sale will take place Nov. 2 starting at 7:30 a.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church, located at 2400 Oxford Way. People can drop off items for the sale at Another Level CrossFit at 1205 E. Vine St. from 5 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 5 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on Fridays; or at House of Coffees at 239 Lakewood Mall during regular business hours. Donations can also be dropped off at St. Peter Lutheran from 5 to 7 a.m. the day of the sale.
Vaz Bros., the Lodi warehouse and storage company where Vivian Rodriguez worked, has also set up an account with the Bank of Stockton where people can make donations. Donations to this account can be made at the Bank of Stockton to the account In Memory of Miranda-Rodriguez Family in care of Vaz Bros.
Rick’s Pizza will be holding a fundraiser on Tuesday, where it will donate a quarter of the proceeds from eat-in or pick-up orders between 11:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Owner Sue Calder said people can bring in fliers the restaurant will put out about the event, or simply let people working at Rick’s Pizza know that they want to participate in the fundraiser. Fliers will be available on the Rick’s Pizza and Lodi Strong Facebook pages.
Officials at Lodi Middle School, where Irving Miranda was a student, confirmed that they will be donating the proceeds from their Fall Festival on Friday to the Miranda-Rodriguez family. The event is only open to Lodi Middle School students and their families, but members of the community can make donations at the school office.
The News-Sentinel found references on Facebook to other fundraisers being planned, but was unable to confirm details with organizers. If you have or are putting together a fundraiser for the family, please email reporter Todd Allen Wilson at email@example.com or call 209-369-7035.