After sending PPE, hygiene kits and children’s blanket comfort kits to Oregon in response to the wildfires, we received this response: “THANKS EVERYONE FOR YOUR HELP!!! We were able to provide the N95 masks to the volunteers at our church who are working with Samaritans Purse to go through the ashes of peoples burned down homes looking for any personal items to recover. That was a big help and safety issue so thanks for that!
The remaining items we were able to donate to the group representing the Phoenix/Talent School District. Phoenix and Talent lost most of the homes in their towns. Approximately 2800 homes in total. The combined population of these towns are around 11,000. Most people have lost everything. 40% of the school district as a whole lost their homes in the fire and 80% of one of the elementary schools in town students lost their home. They were very excited to receive your donations and will be put to good use.”
Photos and video by Robin Loznak
September 16, 2020 – At least 36 people have died in wildfires occurring in 11 states. More than four million acres have burned with most of the activity taking place in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. There are currently 87 active wildfires.
Intense smoke from the fires is forcing many to remain indoors and parts of the west coast, including Portland, Oregon, are reporting the worst air quality in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes because of these fires, with 40,000 evacuated in Oregon alone.
New Life Church of Nazarene in Medford, Oregon, is serving as a congregate shelter for its local community. Heart to Heart International’s Director of Disaster Response and Associate Chief Medical Officer met virtually with the shelter director at the church. Together, they walked through the church’s Infection Prevention and Control protocols and guidelines for resident management. The HHI team advised the shelter director of best practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. HHI will continue to work with the church for are additional needs.
In addition, HHI has sent hygiene kits, children’s blanket kits and PPE (including masks, n95 masks, gloves and gowns) to the Nazarene Hospital Foundation in Medford, Oregon, to help with the response. The hygiene kits were assembled by Timken, and the children’s blanket kits were assembled by SBA.
Heart to Heart International will continue reaching out to partners to find the best ways to help those impacted by these dangerous fires.