by Jay Wintermeyer
OKANOGAN, Wash., July 25, 2014 - As firefighters begin to get control of the largest fire in Washington State history, Seventh-day Adventist members are playing a key role in fire relief efforts.
One of the major ways Adventists are making a difference right now is by operating the relief collection and distribution center in Okanogan, Wash.
Patty Marsh, area Adventist Community Services (ACS) director, says, “When Larry Mays, the Northwest disaster response director, received the call from the Washington State Emergency Operations Center asking us to head up the Carlton Complex disaster relief warehouse, our team was ready.”
When news of the fire broke, the ACS disaster team went into stand-by mode, waiting for the call from the emergency officials. “We’re are especially trained and equipped to help in local, state and national disaster situations,” says Marsh. “Our volunteers specialize in managing collection and distribution centers and warehouses in times of crisis.”
The current Okanogan center, located in the Agroplex at the Okanogan fair grounds is manned by more than seventy volunteers each day. Donations will be accepted until July 26 and plans to cease warehouse operations are scheduled for July 31.
“We’re so grateful for the overwhelming generosity of everyone,” says Marsh. “We have more than enough clothing at the moment. What’s really needed now are cash donations that will allow relief to be given where it’s needed most.”
In addition to managing the Washington State central distribution warehouse for the Carlton Complex fire relief efforts, Adventist members are helping out in many other areas. The Brewster Seventh-day Adventist Church provided clothing to fire victims immediately following the firestorm that burned Pateros, Wash. and threatened Brewster.
Cascade Christian Academy, an Adventist K-12 school, in Wenatchee, Wash. served as a Red Cross collection site and is currently providing office space for the Red Cross fire relief efforts. Additionally, members are assisting various other organizations providing food and relief to the fire fighters and fire victims.
Persons interested in donating to the fire relief efforts may do so through the donation form below.