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Replanting the Orchard after Fire

$10,535 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 124 people in 4 months
Created March 15, 2018


On March 14th there was a massive prairie fire at my parent’s farm.

My mom saw the smoke approaching from the kitchen window and quickly got everyone away safely. My dad turned all the sprinklers he could towards the house and left shortly after. They couldn’t get back to the property until late in the evening and from of the size and scope of the fire, assumed the worst. Miraculously, thanks to my dad’s quick thinking, the house was damaged but saved.

They lost everything else:
the barn, the collection of 40 years worth of tools, the vast orchard of apple and walnut and other trees, the plantings, all the other structures on the property, etc. The damage is over one hundred thousand dollars. 

This land was my childhood home and is one of the most dear spaces to me and my family. For years it's been named the Sandhill Prairie Farm and it's accolades are countless: from hosting  "Apple Butter Days" and migrations of Monarch Butterflies to tractor toboggan sledding, my daughter's first view of a firefly, and as I go on my eyes tear up. But most importantly, it's the land and home of my wonderful parents. 

Many of you have asked how you can help, so we are setting up this gofundme site. We're poetically calling it the "Replanting of the Apple Orchard", but we hope Mama and Papa use the extra funds in the best ways they see fit and put their home together once again. 

A suggested starting donation would be $40, as that is the price of a single apple tree. 

Thank you so much for considering. With your help we can rebuild this place and the magic of these acres will captivate the Williamson family for generations to come.

We appreciate your help, your kindness, your thoughts, and your prayers.
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A Note from my Parents:
We are humbled, beyond measure, by all the outpouring of love and support that has come our way since the fire of March 14. Thank you, thank you, each and everyone of you. Our orchard home has been a magical place over the years loved by many people and it will be again. It has helped numerous friends and family connect with nature and the outdoors over the years. Moving forward will be challenging. But today is the first day of Spring which brings confidence of rebuilding. We have already ordered a shipment of cherry trees for planting in the next few days. Prairie flower seeds will be spread on the newly fertilized (aka burned) ground. And plans for a new underground fire protection distribution lines are underway. Again, thank you with all of our heart. Sincerely, Elaine and Mike Williamson
+ Read More
Clean up efforts are underway at the farm. They were able to repair the well today so water is back and were able to do some electrical repairs as well. Still hard to access the property due to the huge trees collapsing in the shelter belts and many trees are still burning on the inside making for dangerous working conditions. Moral is low as they are struggling with the amount of ash blowing in the wind which makes it difficult to breath. Keep sending your kind notes and prayers! It means the world! Thank you!
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$10,535 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 124 people in 4 months
Created March 15, 2018
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AB
$80
Amy Burky
1 month ago
$100
Anonymous
2 months ago
$50
Anonymous
3 months ago
$50
Anonymous
3 months ago
$50
Stephanie Norton
3 months ago
JG
$50
Jonathan Gilbert
3 months ago
$40
Anonymous
3 months ago
$25
Anonymous
3 months ago
$679
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3 months ago
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