South Sound efforts to collect supplies for thousands of firefighters still battling fires in Central and Eastern Washington have been met with overwhelming response, with donations pouring into the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Olympia.
Meanwhile, Laurie Young, an agent with Abbey Realty of Lacey, also organized adonation drive called “Fill the Truck.” It was such a hit that she’s now working on Fill the Truck 2, Young said Monday.
The center’s donation drive started last week and continues through Tuesday before a second shipment of goods is sent to firefighter camps Wednesday morning, said Anne Larsen, the center’s marketing director. The first truck and trailer, loaded with about 10,000 pounds of supplies, rolled out of Olympia on Friday, she said.
The Washington Center’s drive was personal for Chad Carpenter, director of event services for the center. His niece, Kylie Kavanaugh, a firefighter with the West Thurston Regional Fire Authority, is fighting the Okanogan Complex of fires, now the largest wildfire in state history.
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As of Monday, the Okanogan Complex was 30 percent contained, according to The Associated Press.
Carpenter’s cousin in Vancouver, Wash., through a business called Dewils Industries, also dropped off supplies at the center, he said. Other donations have come from TwinStar Credit Union, Heritage Bank and Timberland Regional Library. A trailer used to haul supplies on Friday was donated by Olympic Trailer and Truck of Olympia, Carpenter said.
“We have a good community,” he said.
The center has plenty of bottled water and Gatorade, but needs more cotton-based supplies, such as T-shirts and socks, as well as granola bars and beef jerky. The center at 512 Washington St. SE is open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to accept more donations.
Meanwhile, Young, who also stepped in to help when floods hit Lewis County several years ago and the Oso mudslide occurred in Snohomish County last year, recently organized Fill the Truck, which collected 22,000 pounds of food and water in about 48 hours, then delivered the goods last week to an area outside Twisp, in Okanogan County.
That was so successful that she’s now organizing Fill the Truck 2. She is collecting donations through Sept. 12 for a Sept. 13 delivery date. Local drop-off locations include Abbey Realty in Lacey, Stewart Title in Olympia, and the Olympia office of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service on Lilly Road, according to her Facebook page.