County rallies for Paradise fire victims | TheUnion.com

County rallies for Paradise fire victims

Thanks to Staples Manager Ken Maier, Jamie Yokom and Girl Scout Troop 750 were able to send backback full of school supplies to the fire victims.

Nevada County's residents know they can count on their community to rally around those in need. Today has been no exception, as many locals rallied to offer whatever assistance they could to the victims of the Camp Fire.

Several efforts have already been organized.

Kari Stehmeyer, Kelsey Kinnard Langel, and Christy Kinnard put out the word they would be collecting donations at Nevada Union's theater parking lot at 4 p.m. today and 9 a.m. Saturday. They are working with the Butte County Sheriff's Office, and planned to caravan there when they are advised it is safe to do so.

"Please, don't come early on Friday," Langel wrote on her Facebook post. "The buses will be in the parking lot area and students will be leaving. Please wait until 4."

Langel said they will be loading up trucks, trailers and SUVs and asked for clothes (especially new undergarments and socks), water, snack foods, gas cards, grocery gift cards, diapers and wipes, feminine products and batteries. Other helpful supplies requested included pet food, pack n plays, high chairs, back packs, white T-shirts, flip-flops, new brushes and hair ties, zipper hoodies, leggings, flannel pajamas, towels, laundry pods and wipes of every variety.

Right now, they're good on clothing and other supplies, Kinnard said Friday afternoon.

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"Mostly, we're looking for gift cards for stores like CVS, Target and Walmart, where you can buy a lot of supplies, as well as gas cards and even Visa gift cards of money," she said.

Kinnard said they hope to store overflow goods for a while, so it will be available for those who need to rebuild their lives.

The animal rescue community also has organized, with Ruff Pack Refuge heading out to deliver pet supplies and rescue pets in need today. They will most likely be making several trips over the next week.

Sammies Friends was the first to donate supplies, but organizers say they are still in need of these items: disposable kitty litter boxes and kitty litter, bowls, metal crates, puppy pads, paper towels, bleach, and towels. Donations can be dropped off at Sammies Friends and at Petco in Grass Valley.

Donors can send money via Paypal using info@ruffpack.org and mark donations for the fire. If you would like to volunteer, email info@ruffpack.org or text 530-329-5561.

If you can't make to the Nevada Union drop-offs, Larry Klink has put together an ongoing donation site with the help of NorCal Riders Choice, at 148 Olympia Park Road. They are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and donors can drop off goods there. Klink said he is looking for canned or non-perishable food, clothing in all sizes, water, pet food, baby food, batteries and flashlights.

"We need clothing and shoes, badly," Klink said. "We won't turn anything away. We could also use basic medical supplies like aspirin and face masks."

He also has grocery carts stationed at Safeway, SPD, Grocery Outlet and Raley's for shoppers to drop off food donations.

Klink is packaging clothes and food in totes through Monday and will transport the care packages to Butte County Tuesday. To help, call him at 530-955-1000.

A local Girl Scout troop, meanwhile, was able to fill 40 backpacks thanks to the generosity of Staples Manager Ken Maier.

"Our Girl Scout Troop No. 750 wanted to help Paradise fire victims," said Jamie Yokom.

When Yokom told Maier she was looking to fill some packs with school supplies for fire victims, he asked how many she thought she needed.

"He said, 'Will 40 do?' I looked at him and I said, 'I don't think I can afford to purchase 40 right now,'" Yokom said. "He said he would purchase them with his own money to help the families."

Overcome, she tried to thank him.

"He said there's no thanks needed and there's no recognition needed. He just wanted to help," Yokom said.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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