For Pamplin Media Group
Troutdale high school student Mackenzie Greenslade, like so many others, was upset to see fires destroying so many parts of her beloved state.
She decided to do something about it.
One smoky day during the blazes, her dad saw her sketching and asked what she was doing. She showed him graphic designs for T-shirts and said she wanted to market them and raise money to help firefighters who risked their lives battling the blazes.
"That's how Mackenzie is wired," said her proud papa, Mike.
"It's pretty disheartening to see it (parts of Oregon) being burned to the ground," the La Salle Catholic College Preparatory senior said. The September fires scorched more than one million acres in Oregon and cost lives, homes and forest land.
"Making a shirt was the first thing that came to mind," Mackenzie said.
One of her designs features green trees under a sky red with fire and the words "Keep Oregon Green!" Another depicts yellow flames scattered on a green drawing of Oregon and the words "Prevent Wildfires!"
The art, says Mackenzie, "symbolizes the beauty of our state on fire."
The goal is to raise $10,000 for the Colton Rural Fire Protection District No. 70, Mike said.
Mackenzie first contacted the Sandy Fire Department, but Sandy Fire Chief Phil Schneider told the teen the Colton department was small, had few resources and "probably needed the most help."
Colton Rural Fire is a volunteer fire department that protects 46 square miles between Molalla and Estacada.
Although Mackenzie's T-shirts are still in production and have yet to be delivered, she has already pre-sold 130 of them at $25 each. The initial order is for 350 shirts.
This is Mackenzie's first solo community service project, although she's participated in many organized by her school.
Mackenzie said she's always loved drawing mountains and is keen on photography.
An avid skier and accomplished soccer player, she's looking at several different colleges and is considering a career in nursing.
"The firefighters are working endlessly to put the fires out, and all I wanted to do was help," she said.
Want to help?
To buy Mackenzie's T-shirts for $25 each, contact @mackenziegreenslade on Instagram or go to her page at https://venmo.com/Mackenzie-Greenslade.
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