Jamie Craig, a Spring Hill resident who owns cabins in the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge area, saw all the destruction and displacement from the recent wildfires and decided to do something about it.
She and Spring Hill firefighter Adam Spencer have teamed up and are collecting relief supplies in a 53-foot trailer they hope to send full to Sevier County this weekend.
Currently, they are set up at Morningstar storage behind Publix in Spring Hill. They are accepting and storing the supplies there until they can be loaded on the trailer.
Other community support is coming from Church of the City in Spring Hill, which is allowing the trailer to stay parked at their back loading dock. The church has also allowed them to bring volunteers in to help sort and box the supplies.
Though they are not associated with the Red Cross, Spencer is in contact with authorities in Sevier County to make sure the donations get distributed to where there are needed most.
They will be collecting donations until at least Saturday, and anyone who would like to give can take what they have to Morningstar or check out the Facebook page created for the effort.
As Craig said, the response was so much that she created the page to manage the donation drive.
“In less than two days, it had reached nearly 15,000 people and I received over 1,000 Facebook notifications,” she said. “I’ve had people from New York, Virginia and Michigan contact us asking where they can ship supplies.
“We’ve collected winter coats, clothes, shoes, canned goods, can openers, bottled water, blankets, beds, bikes, hats, scarves, gloves, pet supplies, diapers, baby formula – you name it.”
The supplies still needed the most are:
– Medical/Hygiene Products (tampons, razors, eye drops, contact solution)
– Canned food items
– Can Openers and Utensils
– Unopened toys
For those who are unable to donate supplies, Craig has a PayPal account set up with the email [email protected]. Every penny is going to purchase needed items for the victims of this tragedy.