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Bushnell University Students Build Sheds For Wildfire Survivors

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

A group of Bushnell University students, along with Project Hope are spending part of their spring break in Eugene building sheds for survivors of last year’s wildfires.

The group’s made up of athletes and several other students. They’re building eight by eight-foot bases and wall panels for the sheds that‘ll be transported up the McKenzie River for final assembly.

Sophomore Payton Jones said it’s a good opportunity to show continued support for the community.


“Earlier this year we did another project with Project Hope and we were able to pack up some a bunch of cleaning supplies and food for the families and send those up to the people who lost their homes,” Jones said.

Credit Melorie Begay/KLCC News
Sophomore Biology student and volleyball player Payton Jones hammers in a nail while building the base of a shed.

The idea is for the sheds to provide a dry place for victims to store possessions, or other materials and tools as they rebuild.

Many of the students participating in the project, including Jones, are student athletes. Jones plays volleyball with fellow teammate Kirsten Mueller. Mueller said she personally knows people affected by the fire.


"I know my friend who lost her house in the fire, they stored a lot of important things in [their shed] like family photo albums, so I hope it's just a place for them to build and keep more memories as they accumulate more during this difficult time," Mueller said. 


Together with other volunteers and groups about 31 sheds have been built. The initiative was inspiried by similar projects that often occur after disasters said Alan Gering, a volunteer with One Hope Ministries.


"When everything's gone you simply don't know where to begin to put the stuff that you either need to collect to do a rebuild or get dry," said Gering. "As we've talked to the fire victims who've received them they've just really benefitted them and got them to a place where they go 'okay now we can really begin the process,'" he said.


The 2020 Holiday Farm Fire destroyed over 300 homes.

Copyright 2021 KLCC

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.