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East Tennessee wildfire donation information

A structure and vehicle are damaged from the wildfires around Gatlinburg, Tenn., on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Rain had begun to fall in some areas, but experts predicted it would not be enough to end the relentless drought that has spread across several Southern states and provided fuel for fires now burning for weeks in states including Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina. (Michael Patrick/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)

Officials are expected to provide an update on the Gatlinburg fires at 4 p.m.

Click here to watch live on your mobile device.

Updates from East Tennessee will be posted by the city on the Chimney Tops 2 Fire Facebook page.

Looking for ways you can help those in East Tennessee after their devastating fires? Here's a list of donation options:

  • The American Red Cross of East Tennessee is providing information about where evacuees can find shelter and food. Be sure to keep checking for updates on locations and availability.
  • People can also make a $10 donation by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999.
  • Wildwood Farm is offering help for farmers needing help with relocating cattle and large animals. They may be able to provide water, hay, or trailers. Call 865-256-9589 for assistance.
  • The American Red Cross of East Tennessee is posting locations where supplies can be dropped off and what goods are needed.
  • First Tennessee Foundation is matching donations up to $50,000 to help with disaster relief. Donations can be made at any First Tennessee Bank location in the state.
  • Save the Children is collecting donations to help kids displaced by the fires and their families.
  • The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has set up a disaster relief fund for Gatlinburg.
  • Donate to the Sevier County Humane Society to help shelters that are taking in animals and those that will need to rebuild when the fires pass. At least one shelter was in the path of the fire and had to evacuate its animals.
  • Donate to the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless to help people who have lost their homes to the fire.

To donate in Western North Carolina:

  • Biltmore Forest Police Department (BFPD) is collecting items at the BFPD station on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (all day). Items to be delivered Sunday. This is a joint effort between Skyland Fire Department and Biltmore Forest Police. The items needed include hygiene products, Ensure formula and blankets. People who are in need of these items are living in shelters at this time There is no need for Gatorade or water, as plenty has already been provided.

Pigeon Forge is opening a supply distribution center. It opens on Thursday, Dec. 1. It is located just off the Parkway in Pigeon Forge in the former Boyds Bear facility at 149 Cates Lane. The facility will be open and staffed Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Available supplies: Bottled water, food, beverages, adult and children sized apparel, footwear, blankets, over-the-counter medication, personal hygiene products, diapers, flashlights, baby formula and more.
  • The distribution center will be open until demand or inventory is gone. They request that no new donation efforts begin until the current supply is reduced and more storage becomes available. Monetary donations can be sent to Citizens National Bank to the Gatlinburg & Sevier County Relief Fund, 200 Forks of the River Parkway Sevierville, Tennessee 37862.
  • The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development enacted an emergency action plan in Sevier County on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The department's Mobile American Job Centers are currently located in Pigeon Forge and are giving internet and computers services for those who have lost their jobs to file unemployment claims. The mobile job center will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. They are located at 149 Cates Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN.
  • The Tennessee State Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) will also be at 149 Cates Lane. TDCI has set up a Community Resource Center that will open Thursday, Dec. 1.
  • TDCI will have: Numerous Insurance carriers, representatives from Department of Labor, TDCI Consumer Insurance team members to answer questions, and officials to provide forms to apply for building permits and provide guidance for both residential and commercial buildings. It will be staffed Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for those affected who want to file a claim.
  • Knoxville Scottish Rite, 612 16th Street is accepting items Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Items being accepted are bottled water, non-perishable snack items, toiletries, and children's toys. For more information call 865-524-3459.
  • Remote Area Medical is seeking donations of Gatorade, and/or water to collect and distribute to shelter centers in the devastated areas. The items can be delivered to RAM headquarters at 2200 Stock Creek Boulevard in Rockford, Tennessee or we can pick up the items. If anyone wants to donate they can reach someone at Remote Area Medical at 865-579-1530. Deliveries of donated goods will be taken to the LeConte Medical Center as well as the area’s Volunteer Fire Department later today.

The Gatlinburg Relief Fund has been established at SmartBank. Donations can be dropped off at any location or mailed to:

Gatlinburg Relief Fund
SmartBank
P.O. Box 1910
Pigeon Forge, TN 37868
Call 865-453-2650 for more information.

  • The Knoxville Expo Center, 5441 Clinton Highway, is collecting items with a focus on babies and children: toys and board games, baby items (including baby food, diapers, pacifiers and baby wipes), and other child and baby needs. Boxes also are requested.
  • LeConte Event Center at Pigeon Forge, 2986 Teaster Lane, is accepting over-the-counter medicine (aspirin, Tylenol, Tums, etc.); baby and child needs (diapers, baby and children's clothes, stuffed animals, coloring books, games); adult undergarments, men and women, all sizes; toiletries (deodorant, feminine hygiene products, lotions, soaps); blankets and towels; and plastic bags.
  • Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, 217 Rankin Road in Alcoa, is collecting bottled water, Gatorade, sports drinks, energy bars, eye drops, towels and washcloths, as well as monetary donations at http://holston.org/wildfires. You can also send checks with "Holston Wildfires #864" on the memo line to Holston Conference UMC WildFires, P.O. Box 850, Alcoa, TN 37701-0850.
  • Mahoney-Barreira Financial Resources, 265 Brookview Centre, Suite 102, is collecting water, sports drinks, eye drops, baby wipes, hand sanitizer and portable snacks like protein bars.
  • Prestige Cleaners dry cleaning locations are collecting new coloring books; children's toys; men's, women's and children's clothing, jackets, shoes and new undergarments, any size; new towels and washcloths; diapers; toiletries; and unopened pet food and dog/cat treats.
  • Cedar Bluff Elementary School is collecting bottled water, sports drinks, high-energy snacks with minimal packaging like Cliff bars, Kind bars, Lara bars, etc., and pet supplies. Donated items should be dropped off near the elevator on the main level of the school.
  • Remote Area Medical, 2200 Stock Creek Boulevard in Rockford, is collecting Gatorade, water, cat/dog food, eye drops, antacids like Rolaids or Tums, and energy and power bars. RAM is also accepting monetary donations on their website at www.ramusa.org. For information, call 865-579-1530.
  • American Family Care urgent-care facilities at 707 Dolly Parton Parkway in Sevierville, 1015 Hunters Crossing in Alcoa and 9203 Kingston Pike are collecting baby food, formula, diapers and wipes; first-aid supplies; high-calorie, minimally packaged nonperishable foods such as protein bars and candy; personal care items such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste; shoes of all sizes; coloring books and crayons; gloves, wool socks and scarves.
  • Kroger supermarkets in East and Middle Tennessee, northern Alabama and southern Kentucky are partnering with the Red Cross to collect money to provide aid to those affected by the fires. Kroger customers can add any amount they wish to donate to their total purchase at the time of checkout. The amount of each tax-deductible donation will appear on the customer’s receipt as a contribution to the American Red Cross, and 100 percent of the funds collected will be sent to the American Red Cross, Kroger said.

The office of the Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett issued an alert Wednesday concerning donations to help those affected by the wildfires in Gatlinburg and Sevier County.

"Tennesseans are among the most generous people in our country and I know that we will support our fellow Tennesseans in their hour of need. Please be diligent in giving to only reputable organizations so that we can best assist the people of Gatlinburg and Sevier County," Hargett said.

"Do not be pressured into giving cash donations to people that you don't know. Unfortunately, during disasters, there are scam artists who prey on our generosity."

Other tips include:

  • If a nonprofit asks you for a contribution, check to see if it's registered with the Division of Charitable Solicitations, Fantasy Sports and Gaming.
  • Take your time. Resist pressure to give on the spot.
  • Ask Questions. If an organization has a specific mission, ask how and who will benefit from your donation.
  • If you are asked for a donation via text or email, verify it is directly from the charity or nonprofit.
  • Do your own research and don't assume a social media or blog recommendation has been approved by the nonprofit.
  • If you give through an app or website, ask if it is going directly to the organization.
  • Avoid giving cash. Always ask for a receipt and if your contribution is tax deductible.
  • Pay close attention to the name of the nonprofit organization, as there are many with similar names.

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