4-H groups help coordinate donations to Oklahoma wildfire victims

CANADIAN COUNTY, Okla. - In the wake of devastating wildfires in northwest Oklahoma, many 4-H and FFA groups are doing all they can to help the victims.

In Canadian County, their 4-H club is teaming up with the club in Piedmont to make sure farmers and ranchers get exactly what they need from donors.

"They've always stepped up and donated to the 4-H and FFA, and this is our opportunity to turn around and step up for them," said Kara Owens, a Piedmont 4-H leader.

Canadian County 4-H leader Liz Nicholson said Oklahomans often have giving hearts but it's important to give the right items.

"They automatically assume clothes," Nicholson said. "That's great for families but, for farmers out there with that being such a rural community, those families out there really need the help with things like hay, fencing supplies, stuff like that."

So, they're doing some coordinating - coming up with the lists of supplies necessary for tasks like rebuilding fences such as post drivers, five gallon buckets, trash bags and gloves.

"Things they need to build the fence, repair what was lost, as well as to clean up," Nicholson said.

They're also asking for items for livestock. Those items include feed for horses, cattle, pigs, goats and sheep. They also need milk replacement for orphaned, young animals.

This isn't the first time the groups have stepped in to help. Last year, many 4-H club members of all ages helped load up and drive hay and other supplies to the victims of the Northwest Complex Fire.

"Help them get back on their feet as well as salvage what little they have left," Nicholson said.

You can take donations to the Canadian County OSU Extension Office or the Tractor Supply Store in Piedmont near N.W. Expressway.

You can also contact the Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service for donations in terms of hay, fencing supplies and feed. The numbers for them are 405-590-0106, 405-496-9329 and 405-397-7912.

If you'd like to make a monetary donation instead, there's three places you can do that to ensure the money goes to the right place: the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation, Oklahoma Farmers and Rancher's Foundation and the Oklahoma Farmer's Union Foundation.

The Piedmont 4-H Club is also accepting donations for firefighters. They're asking for money, eye drops, chap stick, socks, leather gloves, individually packaged snacks, beef jerky, wet wipes or baby wipes.