New program gives community way to help
Sitting in her Indian Hills home, Tamara Roberts felt helpless watching the smoke billow up from the Waterfall fire.
“You feel bad, you want to do something,” she said.
So she rallied some neighbors, solicited donations from local businesses and set up a barbecue near the fire line on Timberline Drive for emergency crews.
“We can’t fight the fires but we can support those who can,” she explained.
Volunteers from Baum Healing Arts’ Reno campus also provided free massages to workers and homeowners in the area.
“It’s a little bit of relaxation for the moment,” said manger Vickie Grimes. “It’s a break from the stress.”
They are among a surge of businesses and community members who are looking for a way to help.
Several have started collections for firefighters or showed up to help at the American Red Cross Emergency Shelter.
Although they appreciate the sentiment, fire officials say they are drowning in bottled water and the Red Cross will close its emergency shelter today. Services to victims are still available at the high school.
However, there is still help needed.
“Think about all the clean up even if the home wasn’t destroyed,” said Mayor Ray Masayko.
A new program, Neighbor to Neighbor, was announced Saturday to help those who lost homes and those who need help restoring their homes to pre-fire conditions.
Under the program, people who need help should call the Red Cross and explain their needs. It could be anything from needing help dusting the soot from inside a home, to sweeping out a garage, to asking for furniture or clothing destroyed in the fire.
“No job is too menial if it helps you get back to your regular life again,” Masayko said. “Your neighbors in Carson City will help you.”
The other side of the program is that individuals or businesses wishing to help should also call the Red Cross. They will be paired with those in need of a service.
“There’re people out there who want to help,” Masayko said. “They just need to be matched up.”
Contact Teri Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 881-1272.
YOU CAN HELP
• To make a request for services or volunteer to help, call the American Red Cross, Sierra Nevada Chapter at 856-1000.
• Firefighters are overwhelmed with donations of water and food. At this time, money is needed most.
• Donations may be made at any Bank of America or Wells Fargo branch or mailed to the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross. At Bank of America locations, ask for the Waterfall fire fund. The bank started the fund with a $20,000 donation. At Wells Fargo, which donated $10,000, ask for the American Red Cross fund. Mail donations to LOCAL Sierra Nevada Chapter, 1190 Corporate Blvd., Reno, NV 89502. For details call the Red Cross at 856-1000, Wells Fargo at 884-1110 or Bank of America at 687-7001.
• Donations may also be made to the Carson City and Lyon County fire departments who have both lost fire vehicles and to local charities which will help people throughout the year.