Big donation to help Mountain Tough Recovery Team aid wildfire victims

Janice Hendrix (Right) holds check during check presentation to Mountain Tough.

GATLINBURG (WATE) – The Mountain Tough Recovery Team will now be able to help victims of the Gatlinburg wildfires in many ways, thanks to a generous donation from Food City and Bristol Motor Speedway. They brought a check for close to $100,000 to the ribbon cutting, officially opening the Mountain Tough Recovery Team office in Gatlinburg.

Just up the hill from her office, Glenna Ogle tends to flowers and trees on her property, the site of a home that had been in her family for generations. The home is in the process of being rebuilt after the fires.

Ogle doesn’t miss a day in coming to check on the progress.

“I want to see what they’ve done. When I come up here yesterday and they had the roof on, I just… praise the Lord!”

Ogle is just one of many who will benefit from the support that keeps coming in.

“Those needs vary from needing assistance with medical supplies to connecting with counselors and other agencies, to building homes and also to furnishing things in their homes that they lost during the fire,” said Ellen Wilhoit, with the Mountain Tough Recovery Team board.

Ogle is grateful for the support, and shared her most heartfelt wish: “I want to come home!”

Anyone seeking assistance should apply online and schedule an appointment at www.mountaintough.org. Eligibility will be determined through the online application. Completing the pre-application also expedites the process, according to the Mountain Tough Recovery Team.

If you know anyone without internet access who needs help, they may call the Mountain Tough office at 865-325-2644 to start the process.

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