Local family pushes to help Gatlinburg victims

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Amanda Hingston and her family were one of many who went to see the remains of the wildfires that struck Gatlinburg, TN last week.

“After we heard about the fires last week my mom, my son and I went up to the area to check on family. On our way back my son was devastated,” Hingston said. “He begged to stay.”

The ashes were too heartbreaking for the family to look at. The Hingston’s lived in Gatlinburg for 34 years before moving to Bulloch County in march of last year.

“My childhood home is gone,” Hingston said. “Everything I’ve ever known is gone.”

A sight she could only describe using one word.

“Bad,” Hingston said. “But, there’s a sense of unity. A sense of love.”

Love her family has decided to help spread to the area. After her son saw the tragedy he wanted to step up and assist anyway he could.

“He wanted to know what we could do, so I called back up there found out what they needed,” Hingston said. “School supplies. You have 200 kids that lost everything.”

Hingston said the school is still standing and it’s not a complete loss, but there’s no way it could be used right now.

However, those hundreds of students and dozens of teachers will need supplies when they return, especially since the majority of them lost everything to this.

“I figured that’s something that everybody could get behind,” Hingston said. “You can pick up a pack of paper for a buck.”

Hingston also has one more message for those of you who frequently visit the vacation destination.

“Don’t cancel your vacations,” Hingston said. “Go, visit. You’ll be greeted with a smile, a warm hug and a genuine thankfulness that you’re there.”

If you would like to contribute school supplies you can drop them off at America’s Home Place on 1108 Hwy 80 E in Pooler, Southeast Bulloch High School in Brooklet, Uncle Shugs BBQ in Brooklet, Statesboro High School in Statesboro, Medical Center Pharmacy at Cotton Ridge on Fair Road in Statesboro and at Debs on 44 Echols Dr in Savannah.

Hingston will collect items through December 16th.

Also, if you’d like to setup your own donation site send your information to Amanda Hingston by joining her group on Facebook here.

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