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Local business owner helping wildfire victims in Oregon

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 10:39 PM PDT
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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - The skies have been smoky over Northern Nevada for weeks, but poor air quality is not all that bad when there are wildfires ravaging the West Coast.

Lindsay Warren, who runs an interior design company in Sparks, has felt the effects of both. The Southern Oregon native’s heart is breaking for her loved ones back home.

“The fire (that started September 8) came so quickly (residents) couldn’t take anything with them," she said. "I think that was the drive to do all of (the donation collections).”

Warren and her coworker, Kicki Richey, have been collecting much needed supplies. Later in September, they will drive the supplies to fire victims in Oregon.

Their donation table is filling up thanks to generous donors.

“We love people like that," Richey said. "Friends, and strangers are coming by, too. It’s amazing what people can do for others.”

One person Warren is checking in with in Oregon is her brother, Stuart Warren, who lives in the small town of Phoenix. He lost his garage to the fire.

8,000 other people are scrambling to make ends meet, according to Warren.

“It starts off with fear at first," he said of his experience seeing flames near his home. "I even heard a story about a woman who didn’t have time to pack up stuff. She had to leave so quickly that she left the back door of her car open and lost all of her clothing that she had loaded up.”

In talking with emergency responders, Stuart says Phoenix and surrounding towns could take up to ten years to rebuild. The Phoenix-Talent School District has been hit hard.

“I heard 85% of the students are houseless," Stuart Warren said. "(The district) is trying to reach those families and get their needs covered.”

It does not take a Southern Oregon resident to help. Those from around the country can aide.

“Some of the most important items we need right now are cleaning supplies," Warren said of the need in his community. "Folks are starting to move back into their homes that weren’t destroyed. Most of them are severely impacted by smoke damage.”

As many in Northern Nevada know, rebuilding from wildfires does not happen overnight, but a donation gets the process started.

Here are ways you can help:

Lindsay Warren’s donation collection location: 888 Deming Way, Sparks, NV 89431, from 3 pm – 6 pm

Donations can also be sent to the following locations who will redistribute monetary or physical donations to those in need:

Oregon Shakespeare Festival: 15 S. Pioneer St, Ashland, OR 97520

Phoenix-Talent School District: phoenix.k12.or.us

McKenzie River Gathering: mrgfoundation.org

Medford Neighborhood Church: medfordneighborhoodchurch.org

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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