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: https://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://fundraise.givesmart.com/f/150t/n?vid=y5h5w
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.
wayne an may hausler sr.December 1, 2016 at 7:34 am
we are very sad we were there for a week shopping we came home this past Monday morning, we do know GOD has a plan for you all we are praying daily for you we will be back in the spring.GOD BlESS YOU ALL. MAY
JudyDecember 1, 2016 at 8:28 am
WE Love the Smokey Mountains, so are plans to visit will not change! You all are in our prayers! I will be donating money we were going to use for Christmas gifts for our family to the above sites to help! God Bless You All! Stay Strong!
LaVada WeeksDecember 1, 2016 at 11:11 am
We are planning to come down April 2! Hoping our cottage is still in tact. . . Have a reservation for Parkside Cabin Rentals. . . . MTN Vista 122 Parkway. Hope it’s still there. So sorry for all the loss, such a shame that someone set the fires on purpose. .
JoyceDecember 1, 2016 at 6:42 pm
For the past five years, my five grandkids, son and daughter have come to Gatlinburg during their Spring break. They look forward to it every year. Always have a great time shopping, hiking and eating at the fine restaurants that are there. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. Know Gatlinburg will be back again. Sending donation to help out. God bless!
Angela J. ShifflettDecember 1, 2016 at 9:19 pm
We Pray everyday for the great people in and around the ares of this horrible fire, we visit and stay in Pigeon Forge every year just for Memorial Day weekend its the only mimi vacation we get, God is with each and everyone of you and is watching over you and together you will be back to your lives and be stronger things may be gone but you are still with Tenn. and there your hearts will always be. Our thoughts and prayers are with those families that lost a loved one from this Together you will be stronger and better and always remember God is with you. we will be back in 2017 memorial Weekend if not before we pray for you all.
PatsyDecember 2, 2016 at 11:48 am
Prayers for everyone in that beautiful area. Especially those that lost loved ones, their homes or businesses. I know with God’s help you guys will come back stronger than ever. It is beautiful there and I know it will return to that beauty soon. We will be back. We have visited many times, as recent as July, and we will be back!!
Catherine ZieglerDecember 5, 2016 at 4:07 pm
We come every year to visit. Drive all the way from Wisconsin and have many comments on “our accents”. Always talk Mom into the long drive and she says every year it’s way too far to go, this will be her last year! As we’re leaving she’s already planning our nextyears trip. Love the shops, shows and restaurants. But we really love and appreciate the people and the cities. Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
God Bless you all!
Catherine and Dorothy Ziegler
Denise MilhoanDecember 20, 2016 at 8:22 am
Gatlinburg has been my refuge for 35 years.My heart aches for the devastation and loss of life caused by the fires. My prayers are with you all, God bless !