KIE Supply, based in Kennewick, Washington, took to social media to help victims of wildfires in their community. Over a period of 5 days, the supply company collected thousands of items and then delivered them to relief workers.
“Organizing something like this was a huge group effort from a few people here at KIE,” Kevin Melvin, KIE Showroom Manager, told tED magazine.
“Between myself setting up the event and getting the word out via social media and Cory Scott heading the radio, we didn’t know it was going to grow like it did. Planning it was hours of contacting people and groups in need again via Facebook and word of mouth on the ground in the hard hit fire areas by my family. Social media was what really caused this to become as large as it was. Day one on making the event we invited 250 and from sharing, it grew to 23,000 reaches and at one time we had 11,000 shares/likes.”
When the effort was complete, KIE estimates it collected nearly $30,000 in items, including blankets, canned food, dry food, energy bars, coffee, toothbrushes and toothpaste, snacks for firefighters, bottled water, bottled juice, animal food, baby food, baby items, flashlights, batteries, soap and shampoo, and garbage bags. The fire really hit home for the employees at KIE. “Everyone at our locations knew someone or was related to someone affected by the fires directly with evacuations or losing their homes,” Melvin added.
KIE also realized their work may not be finished. While the fires are under control, there is still a lot of work to be done. “KIE has continued to donate items to the victims as items are still being donated which we made sure are taken to the right places in need. Fire’s have settled but aren’t out nor is the trouble over for some people. Sadly with what the fires have already taken must be rebuilt and that’s a community effort on it’s own.”
If you can help with the ongoing effort, you can contact KIE supply at www.kiesupply.com.
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