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Forsyth group seeking donations for firefighters
fire WEB
A Forsyth County Fire Department truck assists with a brush fire in north Georgia. - photo by Courtesy of WRCB Chattanooga

Items are being accepted at all Forsyth County fire stations and the following locations and businesses:

• Walnut Grove Subdivision: 6975 Shady Oak Lane

• Midway Warehouse: 4820 Atlanta Hwy. (Monday thru Saturday 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. and Sunday noon-4 p.m.)

• The Preserve at Etowah: 9255 Old Preserve Trail

• Three Chimneys Farm Subdivision: 3655 Horizon Court

• Tam’s Tupelo Restaurant: 1050 Buford Highway (Daily 4-10 p.m.)

• Wilkes Meat Market: 5515 Bannister Road

• Cooper & Company General Contractors: 304 Tribble Gap Road (weekdays 8 a.m-5 p.m.)

• Northeast Forsyth: 7135 Balmoral Court (at end of drive way near garage)

• Edgewater at Lanier: 1735 Watercrest Drive

FORSYTH COUNTY -- A new group is asking for the community’s help to get supplies to firefighters battling ongoing wildfires in north Georgia and North Carolina.

Forsyth County Operation Wildfire is collecting items at several local businesses and all Forsyth County Fire Department stations.

The group is working with student non-profit Army of Hope at Young Harris College in Towns County, which first began collecting items. Christine Becnel, of the group, said seeing the students help inspired her to do so.

“My son goes to Young Harris College and he’d been sending me updates about how sad he was about different places where they kayak and all that are taking a real beating with the fire,” she said. “I kind of just thought, ‘These are college kids and that’s a small town.’ I wasn’t sure how much reach they’d have.”

Becnel began working with Kelli Warren, a Forsyth County resident who ran for the District 4 commission seat earlier this year, to get the community involved and get donations started. The group is taking snacks, water, cough drops, eye drops and especially socks.

“Socks are a priority and we’ve kind of tried to highlight that, but we also go with the philosophy that beggars can’t be choosers,” Becnel said.

Donations are going to Hinton Rural Life Center in Hayesville, North Carolina, which is being used as a base between fires, and toward those fighting wildfires in Fannin County.

She said since starting the group last Friday, Fire Chief Danny Bowman let the group use fire stations as collection centers.

“He is just 100 percent on board,” she said. “I think people really want to help; that’s just human nature; people want to help with everything. The key to what we do is we just want to make it easy for them to help.”

After the first weekend, the group collected 1,260 bottles of water, 136 pairs of socks, 1,130 cough drops and over 800 snack items to go to firefighters.

“It’s been unbelievable,” she said on Monday. “I’m actually pulling up to Young Harris right now with the second truckload of goods. We started this on Friday and we have made two big deliveries since then.