Elks Lodge Has Items for Fire Victims

Times Staff Writer

The Fullerton Elks Lodge has collected enough clothes, food and toys to fill three large box vans and on Friday will give the goods to victims of the recent Southern California wildfires.

Collected over the last several weeks by Elks throughout Orange County, the items will be handed out at the organization's lodge, 1451 Brea Blvd., beginning at 9 a.m.

The national Elks are also collecting money to help the fire victims, and the Fullerton lodge has so far donated $2,000 to that cause, said Elks spokesman Scott Stephens in Fullerton.

On Friday, those with proof of fire losses, such as an insurance claim, will be able to choose among the children's and adult clothes, canned food, bottled water, toys, appliances and even furniture, Stephens said.

The wildfires that began Oct. 24 left 24 people dead, consumed about 740,000 acres and destroyed about 3,500 homes.

"We saw a need and decided we would do something about it," said Stephens, who spearheaded the drive.

He sent e-mails to about 1,200 people in the Elks' Orange Coast District. Most of the donations came from the Fullerton lodge, Stephens said, which is the third largest in the county after Garden Grove and Santa Ana.

The response was overwhelming, Stephens said. He even had to decline 10 frozen turkeys. "I don't know what to do with them the day after Thanksgiving."

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