Carson City community pulls together to support Tahoe evacuees
CARSON CITY — With Carson City evacuation centers turning people away and sending them to Reno and Sparks, those who want to stay closer by are finding support from the Carson community.
Known for its friendly policy towards those looking for a place to park their RV or car overnight, the Walmart parking lot has been acting as a place of refuge for many evacuated from their homes. With the high volume of people making use of the space, Walmart provided a line of porta-potties for added convenience of overnight visitors.
Seeing the crowded parking lot and lack of evacuee services in the area, two local churches, Redemption Church and Living Stones Church, took action to feed the camp on Wednesday evening. The churches provided barbecue hotdogs, fruits, snacks, water and sodas.
Mitch Pier, The director of operations and community engagement at Redemption Church and the organizer of the event described how crowded the parking lot had been the previous two nights and the lack of resources being made available to those camped there.
“Nobody was serving this area,” he said. “We drove around to see what was going on, and there were things in Fuji Park and other places, but nothing here.”
The two churches joined forces to feed the masses, but they were not alone. They enlisted help from others in the community.
Sausage Factory, a Carson City born company who makes the hot dogs for Aces Ballpark, donated hundreds of hotdogs. Northern Nevada Dream Center, a nonprofit organization which also runs a foodbank in Carson City, provided fruits and snacks to distribute. But the giving was not limited to organizations. Passersby who saw what was going on picked up extra sodas and snacks to drop off at the tables wanting to do their part to help.
Those camped out in the Walmart parking lot had mixed outlooks on how things would turn out.
Some were optimistic they would be returning home soon, while others wondered if they would even go back to South Lake Tahoe now that their home may be gone and their belongings mobile.
The common consensus, however, is that there has been an overwhelming amount of support from the community.
“There has been an unbelievable amount of generosity,” said Paul Hopkins, a South Lake Tahoe resident who works at Safeway. “It felt like every 10 minutes someone was stopping by to offer help.”
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