Portlanders collecting bottled water for Warm Springs tribes

Poor infrastructure and a raging wildfire burning in the region make bottled water critical.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Baristas are serving up java and a side of good will at the Bison Coffeehouse in Northeast Portland.

“Our community is supportive and they’re already bringing it in,” said owner Loretta Guzman.

Guzman is asking for bottled water on behalf of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. A large wildfire is raging in the area. In addition to that, reliable water is hard to come by due to poor infrastructure.

“Even though we’re not of the same tribal affiliation they are my people to me,” Guzman said. “If I can do something to help them I’d like to help.”

Melissa Adams of North Portland heard the call to action and dropped off more than a dozen cases of water Tuesday afternoon.

“Community stepped in,” Adams said. “I asked for contributions and everything started pouring in. It was easy.”

Water is critical for those impacted by the wildfire. There is no question about it. 

But Dale Kunce, CEO of the Cascades Region of the American Red Cross, is asking for even more. He is pleading with people to volunteer with the nonprofit or at least make a cash donation.

“We need to be more nimble and cash allows us to be more nimble and it allows us to better serve those folks impacted,” Kunce said.

That help comes in the form of bottled water at the Bison Coffeehouse.

“A lot of people want to know how long are we going to take it (water) and I told them as long as they need water,” Guzman said. “Once they tell me to stop that is when I stop.”

You can drop off bottled water at the Bison Coffeehouse M-F 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

RELATED: Wildfire near Warm Springs burns 6,201 acres

RELATED: Hot, dry forecast has Oregon fire officials preparing for the worst

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