AUGUSTA — A National Guard family burned out of their home last week continues to receive donations from across the state as veterans prepare to host a benefit supper.

Sgt. Meaghan Bowers, analyst for the Maine Army National Guard, said donations from individuals and businesses have poured in for Steve and Jessie Eastman and their two young children, whose Riverside Drive home was destroyed by the May 28 fire. Steven Eastman, who serves with the Maine Army National Guard, was away when the fire occurred.

“Right now they’ve been inundated with clothes,” Bowers said. “Steve said the kids have more clothes then they’ve had in their lives.”

Donations will be accepted through Monday at Military Family Assistance Offices in Bangor and Portland and at the Buker Center in Augusta.

Bowers said the Augusta Area Military Association, a private club for current military and retired veterans, is working with the Veterans of Foreign Wars to host a benefit potluck supper from 4-7 p.m. Saturday at VFW Post 887 at 509 Leighton Road in Augusta. The VFW is donating use of the post and Damon’s has donated food and giveaways, Bowers said.

Bowers said the free supper is open to the public, although she encouraged those who attend to bring food to share and said cash donations will be accepted. There will be a cash bar and a 50/50 raffle.

“It’s a family event,” she said. “All the proceeds are going to the Eastman family. We don’t have to pay for anything.”

Donations also are being accepted online by searching Eastman House Fire Fund at GiveForward.com;http://www.giveforward.com/.

Bowers said the family’s immediate needs for clothes and personal items have been met. Now, fund organizers are seeking donations of cash or gift cards to area stores, such as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Hannaford, Target and Walmart, so they can replenish household items from sheets and towels to salt shakers.

Bowers said organizers have gone through a mountain of donated clothes, books and toys.

“We’ve gone through two truckloads so far,” she said. “They’ve come in from all over the state. The military community has been very generous.”

The fire, which was sparked by an electrical malfunction, destroyed the Eastman home at 323 Riverside Drive. A state police trooper on his way to work reported the fire around 6:45 a.m., less than an hour after Jessie Eastman left home for the day with her children, ages 6 and 3. Two dogs died in the fire.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

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