CINCINNATI -- Wildfires tearing through Gatlinburg, Tennessee, since Monday have destroyed at least 150 buildings, killed four and hospitalized a dozen by Wednesday morning, the Associated Press reports, so now residents must start to rebuild.
More than 14,000 people have evacuated the area, and they need everything from diapers and detergent to bottled water. Matthew 25: Ministries will be heading south Thursday with personal care kits, cleaning supplies, clean up and safety supplies, paper products and water.
Matthew 25: Ministries will accept the following donations for disaster relief:
- Monetary donations: Donate online or mail checks to Matthew 25: Ministries, 11060 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242. Write “Wildfire Relief” in the memo line of a check or by type it in the “in honor of” field of their online giving form.
- Non-perishable food: PULL TOP canned vegetables, fruits etc.; ready-to-eat dry goods such as nuts, peanut butter, dried fruits, granola and trail mixes, jerky, ready-to-eat snacks; bottled water; ready-to-eat meals or MREs etc.
- Personal care products: Antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, body wash, deodorant, lotion, etc.
- Cleaning supplies: Laundry detergents, general cleaner, sponges, bleach (powdered form is preferred), mops, scrub brushes, buckets, rubber gloves, etc.
- Paper products: Toilet paper, paper towels, etc.
- Baby and infant supplies: Diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment, baby wash, baby shampoo, baby lotion, etc.
- First-aid items: Bandages, gauze, pads, first aid tape, antiseptic creams, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, latex gloves, instant cold packs, etc.
Matthew 25: Ministries will continue to post more information as it becomes available. Please continue to check the website here and follow Matthew 25 on Facebook and Twitter for the most up-to-date information regarding their response and how people can help.
As always, the Red Cross is another major source of support, and there are charities in Tennessee that can be found online including the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley to help pets and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee that goes to area nonprofit organizations.