How to help fire victims

BOISE - Another side to Monday's devastating fire is the overwhelming generosity coming from the community. Numerous businesses, churches and non-profit organizations are coordinating donations and ways to help victims of the fire.

On Monday, Citadel Broadcasting's lobby began filling with donations.

Dan Tooker, with Tooker in the Morning, said they opened up the phone lines at 6 a.m. and donations just keep coming in.

"Everyone has really opened up their heart," Tooker said. "Feels like it's good karma to do this for other people."

Donations that are not used will eventually be taken to the Youth Ranch or Goodwill, Tooker said.

Employees at Bed Bath and Beyond on Federal Way are organizing a gift registry to help victims. Store manager Brett Griffith said Tuesday that fire victims can head to the store and set up a gift registry.

The store is about a mile and a half away from the affected neighborhood.

"We're all one big community here," Griffith said. "We have a lot of stuff that they probably had in their homes."

Residents who would like to purchase items for the victims will receive a 20 percent discount on all items. Fire victims who would like to establish a registry will need to head to the store and a manager will help them get started, Griffith said.

Farmer's Insurance agents set up shot at the Maverick station near Amity and Federal Way to help people with insurance claims and to answer any questions. Agents say people from all over started dropping off supplies for families who lost everything.

People brought things from their own homes such as baby formula, diapers, clothes and bottled water.

"They've just been driving up saying hey we want to give some things for people in need and we've just been letting them drop them off and it just keeps piling up and hopefully we'll be able to give it to the people that need it," said Dave Frechette, a Farmer's agent.

Here are some other ways to help:

* The Red Cross of Idaho set up a service center at the LDS church on East Grand Forest Drive. Families affected by the fire can meet with a case worker to see what they need in the way of assistance. They'll be available until 8 p.m. Monday.

The Red Cross says the fastest and most efficient way to help is to donate money. To donate visit www.redcrossidaho.org or call 1-800-853-2570.

* Treasure Valley residents can also drop off clothing or even household items at any of the valley's Sizzler locations. In return, you'll receive a $5 coupon that can be put toward your next meal at Sizzler.

* On Wednesday, if you're heading to Alive After Five, members of the Boise Firefighters Local 149 will be raising funds for fire victims. The event takes place from 5-8 p.m. on the Grove Plaza in downtown Boise.

* The Moose Lodge in Boise is hosting a spaghetti feed on Saturday. You can also drop off clothing and school supplies for fire victims. The feed starts at noon.

* The Columbia Village Homeowners Association has planned an open house for 10 a.m. Saturday to help residents. The recreation center will act as a collection point for anyone who would like to donate clothing, furniture or other household needs.

* The Burn Out Fund provides short term assistance to families whose homes are destroyed by fire. The organization donates cash to families so that they can get essential shelter, food and clothing. Restaurants that will donate 10 percent of the profits include Ruby River Steakhouse, Sizzler, The Melting Pot and Donnie Mac's. Information 590-1437