Generosity and caring flow in to donation center

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The sound of children playing and the smell of burgers on the grill filled the humid air on Wednesday in the Boulder Oaks Elementary School parking lot, where the Alpine Christian Fellowship hosted a barbeque for victims of and first responders to the West Fire that burned parts of Alpine last week.

 

The sound of children playing and the smell of burgers on the grill filled the humid air on Wednesday in the Boulder Oaks Elementary School parking lot, where the Alpine Christian Fellowship hosted a barbeque for victims of and first responders to the West Fire that burned parts of Alpine last week.

 

“After a disaster, it’s hard to get back to normalcy and get into a regular routine and I think the more we can show up and just help people, give them a free meal and let their kids play like kids and just sit down and talk with the victims, and let them tell their story it just helps them kind of process what’s occurred,” said Alpine Christian Fellowship Pastor Sherwood Patterson

 

The Alpine Christian Fellowship is also supporting fire victims by providing free child care and transportation, in addition to chaplaincy services, Patterson said.

 

The Alpine Christian Fellowship is accepting monetary donations for fire victims on its website and has raised approximately $1,500 so far, according to Patterson.

 

People can also sign up on the fellowship website to volunteer to be a part of disaster response teams that will assist with prayer, debris clean up, supply distribution, food and water, pet care, child care, spiritual care and/or transportation.

 

Amanda Williams is an Alpine resident that attended the barbeque on Wednesday and said she appreciates the tight-knit nature of Alpine, especially in times of distress.

 

“I just know that even though I wasn’t directly affected by the fire, I know that had I been in the path of fire, the support would help get through it so I just want to give that to others in the community that really need that help,” she said.

 

On the same grounds where the barbeque was hosted is the donation center organized by Stephanie Sorrels and Margo McNamara.

 

Sorrels is an Alpine resident that wanted to help those affected by the fire in any way she could.

 

She began helping by handing out bottled water to firefighters off of South Grade road soon after she heard there was a fire. She then opened a donation center at Secret Hills Ranch, where she met McNamara, who also wanted to help those affected by the fire. They joined forces and called Boulder Oaks Elementary School seeking a space with a larger capacity for donations.

 

“We didn’t want to wait until Monday or Tuesday when the center was open and the county was going to come out. We wanted to help them this week,” Sorrels said.

 

The Boulder Oaks Elementary School auditorium is now filled with an abundance of donations including clothing, food, household items and toiletries.

 

According to Sorrels, the donations they still need are water, Gatorade and gift cards. Sorrels and McNamara also said they will not be distributing the donations and encourage those that have been affected by the fire to come to the donation center and take what they need. Sorrels said there is a verification system in place for those who wish to pick up items from the donation center.

 

“We really want to get the word out to other families that we haven’t been able to contact yet, because I know there’s some people that haven’t been able to come to here or the Red Cross or anywhere else. That’s what we’ve been all been trying to do is just find everybody,” Sorrels said.

 

Boulder Oaks Elementary School will be the site of the donation center until Tuesday July 17. After Tuesday the donation center will be moved to the Alpine Christian Fellowship, 9590 Chocolate Summit Drive in El Cajon.

Generosity and caring flow in to donation center

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