Ways to help Kansas wildfire victims
(KWCH) - Winds in excess of 80 miles per hour swept through Kansas on Wednesday leaving behind major damage and fueling massive wildfires across the state. While relief efforts are underway on the local level, several community members have gone online in hopes of helping their neighbors - some of which who have lost property, livestock and some even their lives, or that of loved ones.
Below is a list of online fundraisers being held for Kansans working to pick up the pieces after Wednesday’s history weather event.
- Chrisler Family Fire Help: Melissa and Tony lost everything in the Dec. 15 Kansas wildfires, including their house, 90% of the livestock, pets, cars, equipment and all of their personal possessions.
- Monty and Kristi Morrill Ranch fire relief: Kristi and Monty are cattle and horse ranchers who lost their entire ranch to a wildfire that occurred on Dec. 16. They lost over half of their cattle and their entire ranch. All of their horses have suffered burns.
- Farm and home rebuild: Bart and Bret Hunt suffered burns and smoke inhalation when their home and farm were destroyed in the Dec. 15 wildfires in southwest Kansas They made it out with only the clothes they had on. The men also lost cattle and are still working to locate their dog, Buddy. Michelle Schiffelbein started the GoFundMe to collect donations for the men as it was her family’s farm that the men were tending to that fretful day.
- Shimanek Farm Recovery Fund: Richard Shimanek, 84, of Leoti, died Thursday from burn injuries he suffered in a wildfire in Wichita County. A GoFundMe was started for his wife, to help her get back on her feet after all the loss. See their story here: https://www.kwch.com/2021/12/17/84-year-old-man-dies-protecting-home-wildfires-western-kansas/
- Sunflower Clydesdales Fire Relief Fund: The owners of a local business that breeds and sells Clydesdales lost horses, their home, their barn, and carriages and are looking for support to rebuild. See their story here: https://www.kwch.com/2021/12/17/clydesdale-breeders-near-plainville-lose-horse-cabin-wildfire/
- Next Gen Bar S Ranch: Nearly $30,000 has been raised for Bar S ranch located in Paradise, Kan. According to the GoFundMe page, the Bar S lost almost everything including their dogs, horses, cattle, home, vehicles, show barn, and the list could go on. See their story here: https://www.kwch.com/2021/12/16/russell-ranchers-lose-property-animals-wednesday-fires/
- Support the Glaze Family: Kacey Glaze and her family lost their house and all their belongings to the wildfires near Hays on December 15.
- Morton’s house fire: On December 15, 2021, Lisa (Metzler) Morton and her husband, Royce, lost their home to the fires. Their son Matt Morton and his family lost their home as well. Lisa’s classmates from the class of ‘84 have launched the GoFundMe to help.
- Cindy Walter Family House Fire: After the untimely death of her husband four years ago, Cindy Walter has persevered in the role of a single parent raising her two teenage children. Their home has been destroyed, along with treasured belongings, by the wildfires that spread across western Kansas on December 15, 2021. They are safe but were unable to salvage anything at all from the home.
- Emergency Fund: This GoFundMe was launched for Cindy Walter by her employer, Michael Lohrmeyer. Walters has worked for the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society of Hays, Kan., for over 10 years. Lohrmeyer said that in the immediate aftermath of this unfortunate disaster they are trying to get the family basic amenities, clothes, food, temporary shelter, and any other unforeseen expenses.
- Emergency Fire Relief Fund - Jason Spiess: Jason was one of many who lost everything in a recent grass fire in Paradise, Kan.
- Coles expense fund: A Kansas firefighter’s home was destroyed in a fire while he was out trying to save the homes of others:
- Koester Brothers Ranch Fire Relief Fund: Close to $14,000 has been raised in one day for a ranch that suffered tremendous livestock losses due to the Russell County wildfire disaster.
- Lawson Fire Relief Fund: Craig and Joleen Lawson’s recently lost their ranch in a wildfire near Paradise, Kan. This GoFundMe page is to meant to help them pay for veterinary bills, rebuild the Awesome Lawson Barn and Arena, and clean up from the fire.
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