If you live in the eastern half of the country (especially in the midwest), you likely spent a lot of this week glued to the news reports coming from the Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, Tennessee. I know so many people like me who have been there at least once or twice (or perhaps more like twenty times), stunned as they heard about, and later saw what was left of, so many places that have been a part of their lives.
But there is more to the story.
I talked with our friend Janet Winkle yesterday. A lot of you know Janet – she works at Your Scrapbook Superstore in Sevierville. Janet has taught at our store several times and is one of the driving forces behind the show we attend in Sevierville in October. And she has a plea to those of you who love the Smokies – and love to visit there for the holidays . . .
“Sevierville is OK, but we did have some structures burned. They could not defend all the structures. They made a stand on the main street of Gatlinburg and around Dollywood and Dream More to try to save something.
We need people to know we are open for business in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge and Dollywood reopened today. People are canceling reservations left and right and that is not what we need right now. If you could encourage people to visit us, we would appreciate it.
Also donations can be made to the Dollywood Foundation for the Chimney #2 fire victims. They will provide the families who lost their homes $1,000 a month for 6 months.”
So if you want to do something positive to support these nice folks, do what you can to help them keep their jobs . . .