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Port Gamble S’Klallam donate to victims of White Swan fire

Members of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe have stepped up to help those affected by the Feb. 12 fire in White Swan, on the Yakama Nation Reservation, which destroyed about 20 homes. The fire, which caused millions of dollars in damage, is believed to have begun as a chimney fire.   - Contributed photo
Members of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe have stepped up to help those affected by the Feb. 12 fire in White Swan, on the Yakama Nation Reservation, which destroyed about 20 homes. The fire, which caused millions of dollars in damage, is believed to have begun as a chimney fire.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Members of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe have stepped up to help those affected by the Feb. 12 fire in White Swan, on the Yakama Nation Reservation, which destroyed about 20 homes. The fire, which caused millions of dollars in damage, is believed to have begun as a chimney fire.

Suquamish tribal members have also been involved in the effort to help the victims.

Local groups around White Swan and Toppenish have been raising money and collecting basic living supplies for the burned-out families since the tragedy. The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe became involved after several posts on Facebook from tribal members expressing a desire to help. Within days, others rallied behind the idea and enough items (including home supplies, kitchen items, bedding, and non-perishable foods) were collected to fill a 5- by 18-foot trailer.

John and Michelle Price of Little Boston delivered the donations to Pastor Kenny Williams of the Pentecostal Church in Muckleshoot on Feb. 19.

“Tribal communities have a long history of helping one another in times of need,” Port Gamble S’Klallam Chairman Jeromy Sullivan said. “What we’ve been able to provide is nowhere near what all these families need, but it’s a start. I hope others reach out and donate — food to eat, toys to comfort young ones. Whatever can be parted with to help others begin to rebuild their lives.”

Donations are still needed. Families are most in need of beds, dishes, kitchen items, furniture and non-perishable foods. These can be delivered to the Pentecostal Church in Muckleshoot. For more information, contact Pastor Williams at (253) 261-6003.

Cash donations are being accepted at any Bank of America.

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, originally known as the Nux Sklai Yem or Strong People, are descendants of the Salish people who have been well-established in the Puget Sound basin and surrounding areas since at least 2400 B.C. In the late 1930s, the Port Gamble S’Klallam reservation, located on the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula, was established. Many Port Gamble S’Klallam, who total about 1,000, still live there today. Visit www.pgst.nsn.us.

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