COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- Nonprofits in Lane County are opening their doors to help anyone impacted by the Whitsell mill fire. There are many organizations willing to help, but one has a unique tie to the timber industry.
Mike Fleck, the Executive Director of Community Sharing Programs in Cottage Grove, said the nonprofit started in the early 80s when many lumber mills in the area were seeing layoffs and closures. Now, Fleck said they're ready to help mill workers once again who are going through an unexpected loss.
The nonprofit has a food bank, clothes and can also help pay utilities and rent for those who qualify. For Fleck, it's painful to see mill workers going through hard times once again.
“We're heartbroken for you,” Fleck said. “We hope that they are able to rebuild and get you back working pretty soon, and in the short term we will certainly help any way we are able.”
Fleck said more than 5,000 people in south Lane County rely on "Community Sharing Programs" to help meet their basic needs.
The Salvation Army also says they are ready to help.