The Salvation Army Thrift Store, 1230 E. Yellowstone Highway, is accepting donations of clothing and other goods to assist those affected by the Cole Creek Fire, its director said Tuesday.

"So we're just trying to help them get through these first tough few days," Capt. Mark Merritt said.

The Salvation Army's efforts join those of the Red Cross, the Casper Housing Authority, Townsquare Media, and others.

Specifically, the Salvation Army is receiving and distributing clothing, furniture, household items such as cookware at its thrift store, Merritt said. It also has been distributing food bags and vouchers for hotels.

The donations will not go directly to a needy fire victim, but instead go into the general inventory, Merritt said. A donation of a pair of pants with a 40-inch waist won't help a fire victim with a 32-inch waist, he said.

That's where the voucher system comes in.

A fire victim can go to the Salvation Army's Goodstein Center of Hope, 441 S. Center St., and receive a $200 voucher for clothing that fits them, furniture and other items that will specifically meet their needs, Merritt said.

"They can go over there and shop," he said. "It's as good as money at our thrift store."

The Salvation Army was on the scene Sunday afternoon after winds blew the fire out of control, he said. Its mobile canteen served about 470 meals and about 2,000 snacks to the first responders on the fire, he said.

On Monday, working with its social service director, the Salvation Army served about seven families and two individuals, for a total of about 30 people, Merritt said.


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