Nov. 17, 2018 — In response to the recent devastating fires in California, Deadwood resident Shannon Fritz has been busily collecting goods to bring down to the affected areas in hopes of bringing some comfort to those who lost homes and possessions in the deadly Camp Fire blaze. The fire has left 63 dead, 631 missing and decimated the town of Paradise, among others. It is the deadliest wildfire in California history.
“I can’t imagine the devastation and horror they’re going through, to be honest,” Fritz said. “That’s just horrific, to lose everything. It’s phenomenally devastating. The devastation is horrible.”
Fritz, who grew up in Grass Valley, Calif., knows the tight-knit communities in Northern California well, a place where “everybody is going to help everybody else out,” she said.
“A friend of mine told me, ‘You know, we should really get donations down there,’” she said. “I was like, ‘Okay!’ Put a post on Facebook, and away it went.”
Thus far, Fritz stated she has received 40 black bags of clothing, “a couple bags of shoes, some blankets and towels, plus three bags of toiletries.”
Florence Food Share has also donated 500 pounds of soup for the venture.
“We’re trying to keep clothes and shoes down to a dull roar, so we’re not accepting those anymore,” she said. “We’re still looking for blankets, coats, socks. Any kind of food product people want to send along. Toiletries, diapers, that’s what we really need now. If people want to send down toys for Christmas gifts for kids who have lost everything, that would be great too.”
Donations will be accepted until Tuesday afternoon, at which time Fritz, her husband Mike and daughter Shannon will pack their trailer and head out early Wednesday so “people can have a good Turkey Day.”
Cash donations will also be accepted, and any help with the gas money would be greatly appreciated, as the Fritz family expects to drive around 9 miles per gallon.
Fritz and her family are also donating all of the proceeds they make from their business, Hillbilly Jams, Jellies & More, which has a booth at the Picc-A-Dilly Flea Market in Eugene, located at the fairgrounds.
“We don’t really have the time on our hands, but we made the time,” Fritz said. “I’m just thankful we’re able to do it and the community is coming together.”
Drop off locations are at Frank’s Place in Mapleton, located at 10788 Highway 126, or in Florence at the Florence RV and Automotive, located at 4390 Highway 101.
Donations will be accepted until noon on Tuesday, Nov. 20.
Fritz thanked the community for coming together in this way.
“Anything helps,” she said.