Mid-Missouri bands together to offer wildfire relief

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ASHLAND - In the wake of wildfires that scorched millions of acres in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, mid-Missourians are hitting the road to offer relief.

A group of women from Ashland thought to bring donations to the victims, and they say after just one facebook post the response was overwhelming.

"We had to create a separate page for the wildfire relief," said Courtney Thompson. An organizer of the drive, Thompson and two of her friends post updates on the Central Mo Wildfire Relief Convoy facebook page regarding what wildfire victims need, what has been donated and when and where donations will be collected and sent out.

Right now, the two most important items to be collected are fencing supplies and round hay bales. Thompson said these are absolutely vital for the farmers and their livelihoods, but it is important that everybody help out because the farmers aren't the only ones suffering. 

"Our meat comes from that part of the country, and later in the year, in months to come, it's going to effect the price of our meat. And people need to be aware it's not the farmer trying to make a dollar, it's not the ranchers. That is not the case. They've lost their livelihood. The effects of this will soon be felt across the nation."

The first group of trucks will drive to Kansas and Oklahoma this coming Friday and Saturday, and Thompson says there are enough supplies that they will head out at least one more time in the next few weeks.

For those wanting to help, the group is collecting hay bales, fencing supplies, calf milk replacement, bottles and nipples for calves, clothes and toys for kids, food and water, and all kinds of household essentials. They also ask for help from anybody with a truck that will haul large amounts of hay. If you want to donate but can't get out to buy any items, this GoFundMe page is collecting money for fuel for the road trip.

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