Ashley Smith started Ashley’s Toy Closet at the age of eight, after losing her home to the Angora Fire in 2007. Now, at 22, she’s still giving away toys, this time to children affected by the Caldor Fire in Grizzly Flats, California.
She participated in the relief effort for the fire victims on 26 September.
“That big pink truck was full of toys. So we estimate between 10 and 15 thousand toys, and it was all for them,” Smith told NTD News.
He and his organization are covering every fire on the West Coast.
“We donate toys to kids for single house fires, Christmas, birthdays. We do it all, so I have a stockpile of toys, I like to call it,” she said.
In the future, Smith hopes to have an East Coast chapter of Ashley’s Toy Closet to help children affected by the storm.
A resident helping to distribute toys said she lost her house in the fire. But he exists to help his community.
“I’m another. I love helping people,” 84-year-old Maxine Tyler told NTD News. She’s lived in Grizzly Flats since 1955 when she married Walt Tyler.
Her husband, who passed away 10 years ago, had an elementary school named after her. It is called Walt Tyler Elementary School, but it was destroyed by fire.
“He was growing up in the community, working for the community. And I think that’s why [the school was named after him]. Because he was on the Fire Safe Council, he was in the fire department… you name it, he was in it,” Tyler said.
Three organizations Global Empowerment Mission (GEM), Gleaners, and E&J’s Kitchen are sponsors of the Caldor fire relief effort.
“Today we were able to do everything from baby and toddler needs, to clothing, shoes, cleanliness, household necessities,” Elisabeth Gerenberg, owner of E&J’s Kitchen, told NTD News. “The Jem and Be Strong Department Have Family Necessity Boxes, Whatever [an accumulation] Liquid IV, sanitizer, socks, towels and small blankets.”
They also provide camping gear and groceries. They help people go through the first phase of recovery until FEMA steps in.
“And then we’ll work on our phase two, which will be stuff to help people rebuild their homes and hopefully drive the tools,” Gerenberg said. “We do not promise anything like that, we just try to step into that category and work towards that. And that usually happens, and sometimes it’s great and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Gerenberg said they plan to go to the Fawn Fire in Shasta County to help with the evacuation.
With reporting by Jacqueline Mulinex
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times