Eight-year-old prompts toy drive for fire victims | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Eight-year-old prompts toy drive for fire victims

Susan Wood

Hundreds of people turned out for a special farmers markets staged at the “Y” Wednesday, when the El Dorado County Food Bank brought up truckloads of produce and supplies to Angora fire victims and the needy.

“We wanted to show the community the Food Bank is here to support South Lake Tahoe,” said Mike Sprouell, director of the Placerville area facility. The Food Bank is trying to open a satellite office in the center, while another grass roots group plans to also occupy a Community Care Center in South Lake Tahoe.

The concept endorsed by the city accelerated in the aftermath of the Angora fire, which brought out thousands of donated goods through various organizations to help those burned out of their homes.

Among them, Addie Dailey, 3, received a little joy with her 7-year-old brother, Tucker, when their mother Kate helped them comb through a truckload of toys arranged by a Reno girl wanting to assist.

“Every once in a while they’ll say: ‘Where’s my blanket?’ Then, they’ll say: ‘Oh, it burned,'” the mother said, relieved to see smiles from her young children.

Reno resident Ericka Smith knows the feeling. She and her daughter, Ashlee, organized the toy drive. A few years ago, fire consumed their home and Ashlee’s toys. Father Kevin Smith is a Storey County firefighter.

“I knew how it felt,” the 8-year-old girl said, while helping kids look through the pile of at least 2,000 toys.

Her mother expressed being proud of her daughter.

“It was her idea,” she said.

The mother arranged for using a truck donated by Oak Harbor Freight of Reno.

“Everything (about fire) is different when it affects homes,” she said.

Wendy David, a Lake Tahoe Unified School Board member and works for Court Appointed Special Advocates, came out to see the turnout and shared a sense of community in the efforts to help the fire victims.

“It helps when everybody feels connected and stay in town,” she said. The population of South Lake Tahoe has diminished in the last few years as the price of real estate as gone up.

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