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Local retailers hold back-to-school drive for fire survivors

The Salvation Army partnered with local retailers to provide Camp Fire survivors with back-to-school items.

Posted: Aug 6, 2019 10:36 AM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Camp Fire survivors were able to help their kids prepare for school Monday. 

The Salvation Army came together with Kohls, Great Clips and Super Cuts to help kids shop for back to school items and get free haircuts.

For one family it was extra special.

"I have cancer so I have been dealing [with] going in and out of the hospital so I don't really have the energy to do these kinds of things," said Kailey Elliott, a mother and Camp Fire survivor. 

She said her kids really enjoyed the day as well. 

“My son is autistic, he has gotten a lot worse since the fire," she said. "He can't, he has a hard time bathing himself, he can't sleep in his own room still. He sleeps close to me and my husband. My daughter was diagnosed with what they call 'fire brain.' She had too much smoke inhalation in the front of her brain and so she regressed really fast and she acts like she is five or six. She is almost ten."

She said her kids enjoyed shopping for themselves for school.

"They were able to get a lot of stuff that I am not able to get for them right now. They had a fun experience. They both got their own shopping carts and shopped for themselves and got to pick out what they wanted and came out and showed it off to everybody and were really excited about it."

Elliott said the whole experience gave her some hope.

"It makes us feel like there's still good people out there that are willing to help and I know it has been nine months, but most of that we were homeless in a parking lot," she said. 

Her family has found a place to stay for now, but due to safety, they are hoping to move in one month.

The Salvation Army will also be helping families during the holidays. They will release sign-up dates in October.

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Get out and enjoy this beautiful weather tonight! If you do head out and plan to stay out late, probably bring an extra later to throw on for when the sun sets as temperatures will be cooling off into the low to mid 60s for the valley by midnight and low to mid 40s by tomorrow morning.
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