Hood River Wal-Mart employees volunteered their time while local residents volunteered their money Wednesday to support the local fire departments.
The all-day effort, which consisted of washing cars and selling hamburgers, was held on the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 tragedy and raised nearly $700 for the county fire departments.
“I feel this is a really good cause, because without our local fire departments and police departments, where would we be,” said Wal-Mart employee Lori Arthur of Hood River.
Led by assistant manager Shelly Farrell of Troutdale, all the volunteers said the Pledge of Allegiance and held a moment of silence at approximately 8 a.m. to honor the fallen.
“We talked about our role as Wal-Mart employees and how we need to take care of one another,” Farrell said. “Not just ourselves, but also our customers. We tried to welcome them as though they were guests in our homes.”
Burgers were grilling and cars were rolling in throughout the day to support the cause. And, despite the somber circumstances, the general mood was upbeat.
“Whether you lost someone close to you or not, this is all about people caring about people,” said volunteer Carol DeLorenzo of Hood River. “I’m from the East Coast and New York is very close to my heart. I thought that by volunteering a few hours of my time, I would be doing the right thing.”