GLIDE — As the Archie Creek Fire pushed its way closer, 138 Grill owner Christina Hill raced to her restaurant to gather important documents in the event of a worst-case scenario.
Community members were stopping to ask if the restaurant, which Christina Hill and her husband, Aaron Hill, started at the old Munchies location early this year, was open for business.
“She didn’t want to turn anyone away, and it turned into this,” said Carrie Anderson, who works at the restaurant.
“This” has been a nonstop beehive of activity on the eastern end of Glide for a week straight as more than a dozen volunteers and restaurant staff have been providing anywhere from 500 to 800 free meals daily for fire crews and local residents.
Anderson, who had to leave her home when Glide was placed under a Level 3 “Go!” evacuation order, has been at the restaurant every day helping prepare meals and handling a flood of donations that have been pouring into the restaurant since the middle of last week.
“It’s been nonstop,” Anderson said.
From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., crews have been preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner for anyone in need. In a mere five minutes Monday around lunch time, more than 100 orders came in for a box lunch of chicken burritos.
The vast majority of the food has been provided via donations. Volunteers were helping to haul off garbage. Financial donations have been arriving as well.
“Everyone just kind of buckled down and got together,” said long-time Glide resident Marisa Twarowski, who credited Abby Murphy with spearheading the operation. “She was the one who kind of got everybody together, and we all kind of brainstormed to organize the chaos as best as we could.
“It’s been amazing. We’ve had so many donations. There have been trucks coming in taking loads and loads of meals up to the firefighters and the locals who are protecting homes.”
While the food has been flying out the door, Twarowski and others were working inside, developing the website www.glidestrong.com, which provides helpful links to resources available to area residents who have been displaced or have lost their homes to the fire.
Twarowski, who recently graduated from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, lost her senior lacrosse season — and a shot at the NCAA Division II national championship — to the coronavirus pandemic.
That couldn’t have been further from her mind.
“That is so far behind me now,” she said with a smile. “The focus is here.”