Trailer full of provisions for Montana wildfire victims

Senior Chloe Bauer Organized Support for Montana Wildfire Relief

Last month, while hurricanes ravaged the south, wildfires were destroying homes and land in Montana. Though less publicized, the wildfires wreaked havoc on properties throughout the state and left many families in need of everyday necessities. This is when Chloe Bauer, a senior at Auburndale High School, decided she wanted to do something to help. Through contacts of a close friend, she connected with Karen Kollross in Montana.

“The Kollross family brought to my attention that while our country was being hit with hurricanes, our country was also on fire,” said Bauer. “As Montana has very low collective population, the Red Cross was not able to focus efforts there. That was the point that caught my attention because I believe everyone deserves a helping hand even if it is lesser publicized.”

Called “Fight the Fire Fundraiser,” Bauer began collecting items for families in Montana affected by the wildfires.

“I asked our school to step in and donate to the multitude of families affected,” said Bauer. “Our plan was to donate clothing, winter/hunting clothing, reusable dishware, common toiletries (shampoo, conditioners, tooth brushes, tooth paste, floss, soaps), paper towels, and in large-part non-perishable food. The goal we set was to fill a trailer (U-Haul) and send it out to Demmerly (Kollross) family.”

A U-haul filled with provisions left Auburndale for Montana in mid-October. The Demmerly’s were the first family to receive the goods and what they did not need or want, they passed along to the next family.

“Although I did not lead this under any organization, I did receive generous help and donations from Auburndale FFA, our local Lutheran Church, and the community of Stratford,” said Bauer. “Our collections took place every day in school, along with at the Stratford vs. Auburndale Varsity Football game, and our Homecoming game.”

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