Churches, individuals reach out to fire victims | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Churches, individuals reach out to fire victims

Karen Woodmansee

Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun

South Lake Tahoe churches are reaching out to fire victims and evacuees, but some would like to hold back on the donations, at least for awhile.

“We’ve set up a hotline, and we are taking in people right now,” said Charlie Lincoln, administrator for Sierra Community Church on Sierra Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe.

He said he has spoken to officials at other churches and they have more donations than they can handle, causing more of a problem then it is solving.

“Sierra Baptist Church is overwhelmed with people dropping things off,” he said. “They don’t know how to take care of things people drop off.”

Lincoln said shelter is being offered immediately, and other needs will be met once they are assessed.

He said most area hotels and motels are opening their doors to the fire victims.

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A worker at First Baptist Church of South Lake Tahoe on Wildwood Avenue said they had canned goods, clothes, diapers, hygiene supplies and more.

“You can never have enough stuff,” she said, adding that the Baptist Association is sending more donations as well as pastors to counsel victims.

Churches aren’t the only ones offering help. The fire devastation touched the heart of an 8-year-old Reno girl, Ashley Smith, who with her parents’ help, is collecting items for child fire victims.

“She said everyone always focuses on the moms and dads,” said Ashley’s mom, Erica.

The Smiths are collecting toys, books, kids’ clothing, anything for children at Erica’s office, Custom Air, a mechanical contractor, 2205 Glendale Ave., Suite 143, Sparks.

Ashley, whose father, Matt, is a Storey County firefighter who has been fighting the Angora fire, said she wanted to collect items because she had a fire at her house in 2005.

“I know what it feels like,” she said.

She said she wanted donors to remember to give items appropriate for both boys and girls, from babies to teens.

“We had a lot of girl stuff come in, and thankfully we had baseball cards and books come in for boys and girls,” she said.

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