Gatlinburg Relief Fund helping those who lost jobs in wildfires

GATLINBURG (WATE) – The Lodge at Buckberry Creek was one of many businesses destroyed by the Gatlinburg wildfires. Jason Milanich was the executive chef at the lodge but is now out of a job.

Related: Owners of destroyed Gatlinburg lodge: ‘We’ll be back’

“The level of what I do for a living, it’s a little bit harder to find a job because it’s the executive level, but I do have some interviews and I’m hopeful to be back on my feet very soon,” said Milanich.

In an effort to help those affected by the wildfires, the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation began distributing relief fund checks. These checks are specifically for those who worked for a Gatlinburg business that were destroyed and unable to open their doors by January 9.

“When the savings are starting to run out and you need to pay your mortgage, I’m very thankful for it,” said Milanich.

Each eligible person will receive a one thousand dollar check a month for three months.

“It’s very touching and amazing and encouraging to see how the whole community and the communities surrounding us pulls together,” said Milanich.

The Chamber of Commerce contacted the eligible businesses and employees as of right now 40 businesses and 320 employees are being helped.

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