PERRY, GA.-- - A Central Georgia group is hoping to help out victims of the wildfires in Gatlinburg.
Carmen Neil says every donation counts, and every item down to the snacks makes a difference for those displaced by the fires.
"It just hit home with me. It just took a piece of my heart just seeing so many homes and businesses we loved there being destroyed, and it just hit my heart,” says Neil, a member of the breast cancer group, Tata Bang Bang.
Neil says Gatlinburg was one of the first places she went when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"My husband took me when I was first diagnosed, and then we were able to take my son there. We just built memories from that,” explains Neil.
Now Neil says it is time to give back to a city that gave so much to her, so her organization, Shooting Sports for Cancer, is using their support group to collect and deliver supplies to those in need during this uncertain time.
"It's an emotional roller coaster. They don't know if they have homes to go back to, the firefighters that are working so hard. We think about the people there and we are, we're thinking about the children that are not going to have Christmas,” says Neil.
She says it is best to donate the things Gatlinburg residents will need like snacks, water, medicine, hygiene products, and even toys. Some Central Georgia businesses have already started to collect those donations.
"They really want to help out. Everybody is just getting the warm feeling of the holiday season. People really just want to show how God has worked and he has worked miraculously,” says Neil.
It is a joint effort that Neil says makes her proud of her community and hopeful Gatlinburg will make it through. Neil says a Walmart in Middle Georgia donated $1,000 to cover the group's traveling expenses. Another company offered its semi-truck for extra storage. Neil says they will be leaving for Gatlinburg Friday morning.