This post originally appeared in Southeastern Council of Foundation's Connections newsletter.
The East Tennessee Foundation and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, have established funds to provide disaster relief for people and communities affected by wildfires that have raged since last week in the Great Smoky Mountains, near the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The fires have killed at least seven people while destroying more than 700 structures.
In response to this ongoing disaster, the East Tennessee Foundation announced Tuesday that it is accepting contributions to its Neighbor to Neighbor Disaster Relief Fund. The fund provides timely disaster grants to organizations where most needed and addresses the long-term recovery of the region. The foundation will work to identify agencies requiring support for providing immediate relief. Over the coming weeks, foundation staff will meet and partner with community fire departments, rescue squads, and other community organizations to determine the need for replenishing depleted resources used to aid in recovery and rebuilding.
Also this week, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee launched the Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville Emergency Response Fund. The fund will support the affected communities and nonprofits that are helping victims address their ongoing needs. Grants from the fund will be made to nonprofits providing assistance immediately and in the long-term.
If you know of other foundations who are working to fund recovery efforts, please contact the Southeastern Council of Foundations to help spread the word.