Benton, IL father and daughter donate to families affected by Gatlinburg, TN wildfire

BENTON, IL (KFVS) - A Heartland father and daughter take matters into their own hands by gathering donations in Benton, Illinois for the victims of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

On Wednesday evening, Austin Fisher and her father Ron Cardwell decided to start gathering items for the families without the basic necessities, due to the deadly wildfires in Tennessee.

"I couldn't imagine losing everything I have. I couldn't imagine not having diapers or baby food, a toothbrush to brush my teeth or clothes to change my kids into if they make a mess on their outfit. I couldn't imagine it and I hope someone would help us if I was in the same situation," said Fisher.

Austin and Cardwell are gathering items like toiletries, blankets, non-perishable items, clothes and much more. In addition, they are accepting toys for the children during the Christmas holiday.

If you are interested in donating, you can take your unopened items to Benton Eagles in Benton, Illinois. Austin is even willing to drive to you if you are not able.

They are accepting donations through next week before they travel out to Tennessee.

The donations will go to either the Knoxville Police Department to transport over or a local shelter.

The Vienna Police Department posted on their Facebook page that donations are also being collected at the Vienna City Park for victims of the Smoky Mountain wildfires.

The items are being loaded into a trailer bound for Smoky Mountain Ministeries in Sevierville, Tenn.

Items being collected include: adult and children clothing; diapers; personal hygiene items such as soap and shampoos; towels; toilet paper; paper towels; toys; and food items such as canned food and non-perishable items.

The goal is to have the trailer full and leave for Sevierville, Tenn. on Sunday morning, Dec. 4. Don Cook, the organizer of the event in Vienna, will be at the City park until 8 p.m. on Thursday to load the trailer.

If you can't make it on Thursday, Don will come in and meet you to load the donations.

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