Smoky Mountain Fire Relief – How to Help
The Smoky Mountains just endured what Governor Bill Haslam called “the largest fire in the state of Tennessee in 100 years.” Over 15,000 acres were burnt and over 700 structures have been reported as damaged or destroyed in Sevier County. Click here to see our feature article that includes photos, videos, and a list of confirmations from businesses that were either damaged or still standing. As the fires have been contained, relief efforts have kicked in and, in true Volunteer spirit, there has been an overwhelming desire from all over to provide support and relief for those in need. If you have a desire to provide donations to help those in need in the Smoky Mountain areas, below are multiple ways for you to help in the relief efforts.
Donation Center for Supplies
The overwhelming generosity of people sending in supplies forced city officials to scramble to find a big enough, empty building to store everything! What a wonderful “problem” to have! Fortunately, the former Boyd’s Bear Barn on the south end of Pigeon Forge was vacant. It has become the supply distribution center for people seeking various items such as food, water, clothing, medications, and so much more. Below is the official press release from the City of Pigeon Forge with information on donating supplies:
PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (Nov. 30, 2016) — After receiving an overwhelming volume of donated supplies, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has opened a supply distribution center to serve those affected by recent wildfires and help the community and its members.
“The generosity of our community and others across the state of Tennessee and beyond is simply more than we could have ever imagined,” said Pigeon Forge City Manager Earlene Teaster. “It is a blessing to us to pay this forward by establishing a distribution center to serve all of our Sevier County neighbors and visitors who have been affected by recent wildfires.”
The distribution center opens on Thursday, Dec. 1, and is located just off the Parkway in Pigeon Forge in the former Boyds Bear facility at 149 Cates Lane. The facility will be staffed and open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.
“As folks begin to rebuild, these donated items provide for many of the necessities in the coming weeks,” Teaster added. “As the donors intended, hopefully these items will help lighten the burden of those in need.”
Any Sevier County resident or visitor who was affected by the wildfires is encouraged to visit the distribution center.
Available supplies include bottled water, adult- and children’s-sized apparel, footwear, blankets, food, beverages, over-the-counter medications, personal hygiene products, diapers, flashlights, baby formula and more.
The distribution center will remain open until demand decreases or inventory is depleted. Donation collection efforts that are already under way will be received at the distribution center. City officials kindly request that no new donation collection efforts begin until the current supply is reduced and additional storage space becomes available.
In addition to that, The City of Gatlinburg, Sevier County and Rocky Top Sports World – Gatlinburg, TN have established an information hotline. If you are interested to learn more about donations and how you can assist, please call 865-430-7384.
Dollywood Foundation’s “My People” Fund
Dolly Parton and her organization have created a fund in which they will contribute $1,000 a month for six months to the families who have lost their homes in the fire. They are also accepting monetary donations through the website they have setup. Please watch Dolly’s video below as she provides details on this incredibly special fund.
To learn more and donate, visit: http://dollywoodfoundation.org/
A special county-wide fund has been setup to accept monetary donations. All monies collected via this fund will be donated to those in need. You can contribute to this fund at ant Citizen’s National Bank branch…the fund is called “City of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg & Sevier County Relief Fund”. Monetary contributions also may be sent to:
Citizens National Bank
attention: City of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg & Sevier County Relief Fund
200 Forks of the River Parkway
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862
Also, the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation has established the #Gatlinburg Relief Fund as a way to support the individuals and businesses affected by the #wildfires. To contribute, please drop your donation at any SmartBank location, or mail your donation (payable to Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation) to:
PO Box 1910
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Donate Online via https://app.mobilecause.com/f/150t/n
Text PFG to 91999
Continue to Visit Us!
One of the biggest ways you can support the area is to continue visiting the Smokies! Your visits provide jobs for the people in our towns. It feeds their families, keeps a roof over their head, keeps their homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer, etc. The major majority of businesses in Gatlinburg were unharmed, and as soon as city officials clear the roads and restore infrastructure, businesses will open back up offering you the same wonderful restaurants, shops, lodging, and attractions that you’ve enjoyed for years!
Pigeon Forge and Sevierville businesses were not impacted by the fires…everything you love about those towns are still there!
While numerous cabins were destroyed, there still remains thousands of cabin rentals to choose from!
While 15,000+ acres burned in the Smokies, there are still a lot of roads, trails, streams, etc that remain just as they were before the fires.
The Smokies are still here…the towns are still here…please continue to visit our beautiful area.
Finally, we offer our sincerest gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the support, relief, and efforts during this disaster. Your generosity has helped so many people in need and we are extremely grateful for the love and support you have shown our wonderful community.