Sevier County has suffered a great loss to the local economy and tourist industry and, while the wounds are fresh, everyone I have talked with back home is ready to rebuild. In true Appalachian fashion the overall sentiment is, “It’s going to take more than a fire to keep us down.” It is inspiring to see people who have suffered pick up the pieces and prepare to start over.
It’s also been overwhelming to hear expressions of support from my colleagues and the staff of the General Assembly. Knowing so many care, makes one proud to be a Tennessean and to call the Volunteer State home.
If you would like to become a part of the relief and recovery effort, please consider making a donation to one of the following funds established to help those who have been impacted by the wildfires:
“My People Fund”- Established by Dolly Parton and the Dollywood Foundation – to donate go to www.dollywoodfoundation.org
Pigeon Forge Fire Relief Fund
c/o: Citizens National Bank
200 Forks of River Parkway
Sevierville, TN 37862
Gatlinburg Wildfire Relief Fund
P.O. Bank 1910
Pigeon Forge, TN 37868-1910
Friends of the Smokies
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster have setup a call center for information about donating goods and volunteering to help survivors of the Sevier County wildfires. The call center number is 866-586-4483 and is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., every day of the week.
I also want to give a shout out to Pam Wolfe, CEO and Founder of Harmony Family Center, who called Wednesday and graciously offered accommodations at Harmony’s Montvale facility in Maryville for those who have lost their homes in the Sevier County wildfires. Thank you, Pam. Contact: Pam Wolfe at 865-981-3953 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.