Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Donations gathered to assist Washington communities after wildfires

Staff Writer | September 15, 2020 1:00 AM

Local people are generously gathering a variety of supplies to help people in eastern Washington who have been affected by wildfires.

One such effort resulted in donations delivered on Friday afternoon to people in Malden, a small town devastated by wildfires, located south of Spokane.

Kevin Burgess, a Realtor in Moses Lake, put out a call for donations on social media on Thursday and quickly saw his message spread through fellow Realtors, friends, family and community members. Within 24 hours, he was able to fill a trailer with donations to take up on Friday afternoon.

Burgess said the decision to step into action came from just seeing the devastation from the fires on the news.

“I posted it, and everybody jumped on board,” Burgess said. “That’s what Realtors do, they all stepped up and started helping.”

Many of the donations came from items dropped off at Dream Acres Espresso stand, which Burgess and his wife, Stephanie, operate, leaving the trailer open for people to swing by and drop off items.

Items donated included: toiletries, water, food, diapers, children's toys, coats, blankets, generators, and various other items. More than 150 pounds of meat was donated by Pure Country Meats and Basin Meats. Gift cards were donated by Dream Acres Espresso.

With the amount of donations they’d already received, Burgess said he ended up making another trip on Saturday to Brewster to assist families affected by the fires near Omak as well.

Burgess said if anyone is interested in making more donations, they are welcome to reach out to him or swing by the expresso stand and drop them off. Gift cards to assist with gas, hotels, or travel are still needed, as well as tools of any kind. Campers and trailers are in demand as well for community members who don’t have a place to stay.

“If anybody has a camper trailer or something like that they wanted to donate, I’d be willing to take it down there,” Burgess said.

Rep. Tom Dent, according to a social media post, is also involved in organizing relief efforts. He said he took a load of livestock feed to Okanogan and has seen the needs of people impacted by wildfires.

Dewayne and Deanna Noel, with Community Baptist Church in Rosalia, Washington, are accepting both mail-in and drop-off donations for those affected by the wildfires as well.


Casey McCarthy

Kevin Burgess stands in front of his trailer loaded with donations he's gathered from people in the community to be delivered to individuals affected by the wildfires around Malden, Washington earlier this week.