FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — Since the Creek Fire started Valley residents have stepped up and donated what they can to help those displaced.
Shawn Beaty with Clovis Hills Community Church said after seeing the devastation that hit the mountain communities. He felt the need to do more.
“So, we just started collecting! Food, water, diapers, toiletries,” said Beaty.
Beaty said like so many seeing the damage the Creek Fire has caused broke his heart. But, with help from volunteers they were able to open up a donation center.
“Thousands of people have come now. Thousands upon thousands have given and thousands upon thousands have come and received it too and that’s been an incredible thing,” said Beaty.
Beaty said they were helping families from all over come together and get what they need.
Jacob Wheeler and his family had to evacuate North Fork. He said coming to the church made him feel loved and supported.
“We just needed toothbrush and tooth paste but they made us get six bags of stuff, kitty litter and everything,” said Wheeler.
Wheeler said when they stopped here to get what they needed they felt the strong urge to give back.
“So, what time can we come out and help tomorrow because we have nothing to do,” said Wheeler.
Jordan Scott is the spokesperson for Fresno County. Scott said although donating items during a disaster seems good it is best to ask the organization ahead of time before showing up.
“We are really trying to discourage donations especially the unsolicited donations of material goods and move people to making monetary donations or having people sign up to donate their time,” said Scott.
The Red Cross evacuation center at Clovis North High School is turning people away who want to drop off items and instead asking them to make a donations online.
Cindy Huge with the American Red Cross said this is the safest way to contribute in light of COVID-19.
“People do want to give and they want to bring material items, but we cannot accept those for many reasons for storage and cleaning and especially during COVID-19,” said Huge.