Madera Unified School District collects over $12,000 in gift cards for Creek Fire victims

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A local school district is partnering with the community to help students still recovering from the Creek Fire.

"I've got kids living in trailers next to their house right now because their house is full of smoke," said Sierra Unified School District Superintendent Alan Harris. "It's just going to be an ongoing journey."

After the devastating Creek Fire destroyed countless homes in the community, Madera Unified decided to do something collecting gift cards for families in need.

"Our goal was to get it to the teachers up there and the staff up there and that way, they're able to pass it on to the people that need it the most," said President of the Madera Unified Linkage Foundation, Tim Riche.

The plan was to raise $6,000 worth of gift cards, but they've already raised more than twice that number, passing the cards along to students in both the Sierra Unified and Chawanakee Unified School Districts.

"At one point, 80% of our families were displaced," said Harris. "If you could see their faces they just light up, not only receiving it but just knowing people outside of the community care."

The gift cards are going a long way in providing food, clothes and much-needed supplies.

"Having those gift cards come up and being able to give them to our families and help them in all different ways, it's going to be a marathon for us," said Harris.

"Whether it's work, or school, or church, in the end, we're an interdependent community," said Madera Unified Superintendent Todd Lile. "We all knew someone who'd been negatively impacted."

Madera Unified is still collecting gift cards. You can drop them off at the district office. The address is 1902 Howard Road Madera, CA.
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