With only one stop, they met with volunteers who were providing for their needs. Resources included financial assistance, as well as free debris removal. Plus, there were mental and spiritual professionals on hand to listen for those who needed to talk.
One of those in attendance,
The entire wildfire experience has left Cape overwhelmed by the kindness of people. From the
"I am putting faces to angels," Cape said, as she visited with people at various tables in the
Sunday, agencies were all working together. Gift cards were being offered by the
Following a major flooding event three and a half years ago the
"That's our goal today," said
They want those affected by the fires to realize they have some help.
"Perhaps they have insurance, but need assistance meeting the deductible," Gleason said. "Or they just need boots on the ground to help them haul off trees and limbs and debris.
"Our goal is to assess what their needs are and determine what resources we have to engage with them. From the flooding three years ago we were able to muck out homes and replace sheet rock and water heaters."
Sunday they were in the process of assessing what was needed in the current disaster.
"That is what part of today is, getting names and getting connected so we can start the process of recovery efforts for them," Gleason said. "We want to know who those individuals are who were affected by the wildfire and need assistance. They can call us at (620) 669-9329. Reno County VOAD will be in touch with how they may best help them."
Currently there are about 20 different properties that have had enough damage to warrant assistance, Gleason said. They will help anyone who has damage -- perhaps tree removal or brush cleaned out.
"If they are a land owner, that might not be something covered by insurance. That might be something VOAD can assist with," Gleason said. People can also call 211, which is manned by
A week ago, Gleason was among those evacuated without a place to go.
"My first thoughts obviously were for all my friends in our neighborhood. And then I had to change my hat and recognize that I was part of the recovery team that needed to start working," Gleason said. "It was a difficult shift, because my heart was still wanting to be with my friends and making sure everyone was still good.
Fortunately her home only sustained smoke damage.
"It has certainly driven home to me the importance of personal touches within all of us. Being able to connect the community to the resources. That we are all here to help each other figure this out and get through it.
"Coming from a more personal note, since we were personally affected, it makes me realize how its even more important for us to come together as a community when things like this happen," Gleason.
Along with the United Way Reno County and
Those who wish to make donations may send it to VOAD c/o of the
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