Richard W. Clark, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean and Department Head
4-H/Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications
Tennessee 4-H is receiving a number of contacts asking how they can help those individuals in the towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN (Sevier County) that have been impacted by the recent wildfire. Large amounts of supplies have been donated already. What is needed is help in providing for the financial needs of these families as they rebuild their lives.
The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and Tennessee 4-H are announcing an effort to collect gift cards for people displaced and affected by the wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee. Fires over the past two days have destroyed thousands of acres of forests, burned hundreds of buildings and businesses and claimed several lives. At the present time we are aware of 30 4-H families that have lost everything in the fire. In addition, a mother and her two daughters are still missing. These two daughters are both 4-H members, ages 12 and 9.
Gift cards of any monetary value to nationally recognized retailers can be mailed to the UT Extension office in Sevier County to Alan Bruhin’s (County Director) attention. 4-Hers, UTIA employees or anyone across the state or nation are encouraged to help out as best they can. Affected families will be able to use these cards to buy supplies and necessities in the coming weeks of rebuilding.
Donated gift cards can be mailed to UT Extension, 752 Old Knoxville Highway, Sevierville, TN 37862. The phone number of the office is 865-453-3695. If individuals desire a tax deductible receipt for their monetary donation, those individuals can mail a donation, made payable to the Tennessee 4-H Foundation, to 2621 Morgan Circle, 205 Morgan Hall, Knoxville, TN 37796. The Tennessee 4-H Foundation will, in turn, purchase gift cards using the donations and send them to the Extension office in Sevier County.