SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Evacuees of the Holiday Farm Fire were able to receive one of 400 $250 gift cards that were being distributed on Monday.
The cards were distributed at Catholic Community Services of Lane County on G Street starting at 8 a.m. The effort was funded with $100,000 in donations to the United Way.
CCS Executive Director Sue Paiement said that the gift cards can be spent on anything the evacuees need. That flexibility has been helpful for evacuees, who have a wide range of needs.
"The other thing my staff shared with me was how appreciative they were, and how they were so resilient. They were in good spirits. They were thankful for these funds and they were looking forward to getting on their feet again," she said.
Carolyn Schnider had to evacuate from her home in Blue River. She said that the gift cards are a drop in the bucket, but every display of generosity from the community is helping her get through these difficult times.
"I decided to put on my big girl pants and just come down here, and so to speak, be humble and grateful that we can have these resources for us," she said. "I'm just kind of sitting on things and deciding what I need to do now because it's starting from scratch. And it's been a long time since I've had to do that."
CCS will continue distributing the cards until they run out on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1025 G Street in Springfield. If there are cards remaining, another distribution event will be scheduled.
Evacuees need to bring a photo ID and proof of residence in an evacuation zone, such as a utility bill or car insurance. Coronavirus precautions are required.