Estacada community comes together after fire
Stacks of water bottles, boxes filled with toys and tables with bountiful amounts of food are some of the sights in the Cazadero parking lot.
In the aftermath of the Riverside fire, the area has transformed into a relief center for those who have been impacted by the 137,865 acres of flames. The center, open 24 hours a day, is coordinated by Estacada Community Watch and offers food, clothing, toys, pet food, counseling services and personal care items.
Food and other resources have been donated from numerous organizations locally and around the region.
Estacada resident Linda Main was coordinating the center's inventory Wednesday, Sept. 16, and appreciates the opportunity to help her neighbors.
"I had evacuated to my sister's house in Sandy, and I was going crazy sitting on the couch. I can't just sit around and do nothing. It's super fulfilling to be here," she said, adding that it's a joy to see generosity in action. "I was in tears a couple of times when we got huge donations. It's hard not to cry."
While Main worked on inventory, Carlos Martinez helped check in community members at the pickup line. Though he hadn't been able to return to his Estacada home yet, he was happy to return to the community in a volunteer capacity.
Less than a day after he joined the team, he was impressed with the community spirit.
"It's been great. Everybody is awesome," he said. "Regardless of all the division across the country, this community has come together like you can't believe. It's sad it sometimes takes a tragedy to bring people together, but this community has been together from the beginning."
"This is an amazing community. I would never want to live anywhere else," Main added.
If you go
What: Relief center, coordinated by Estacada Community Watch
When: Open 24 hours, daily
Where: The Cazadero parking lot, 352 S.W. Highway 211
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