In 2016 when wildfires raged near Gatlinburg, Tennessee--and you could smell the smoke all the way up in Cincinnati--I wanted to do something to help, particularly since this tragedy happened during the holiday season. So I came up with the idea of torching a (toy) log cabin and then asking people to donate money to rebuild it--and decorate it for Christmas. Logs cost $25 each, roofing materials $50 per, forest animals were $75 a pop and holiday decorations were $100 each. I spread the word via social media. Not surprisingly, the people of Greater Cincinnati stepped up and the cabin was rebuilt, sending thousands of dollars down to support relief efforts in Gatlinburg.

On the right, you see the initial toy cabin positioned in a diorama that we torched; in the middle is the new cabin's foundational logs; and on the right you see some of the various supplies that were sold to raise funds.

This Gatlinburg-themed thank you card was sent to all who contributed. [Creative Partner: John Pattison]

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