ROSCOE (WREX ) — Within hours of the Chemtool fire, two area nonprofits created a platform for the community to help first responders dealing with the disaster.
"My immediate thought was to do something," Andrea Cox, Chair of Blue 815, said. "This was not ending anytime soon."
In a few hours, the donation link had been shared hundreds of times.
"I knew we were probably going to get a pretty good response, but I didn't anticipate the response we got," Cox said. "I think it just spoke volumes for the community wanting to do something but just knowing what to do."
On Thursday, Blue 815 and the Jaimie Cox Foundation donated $11,000 to the Rockton Fireman's Association, the Salvation Army of Rockford and Winnebago County and the Northwest Chapter of the American Red Cross.
"I think it speaks volumes for the way people feel about first responders," Cox said. "This is where they get to see how much people care for them."
Cox is related to the late Rockford Police Officer Jaimie Cox who was killed in the line of duty on November 5, 2017.
"Our family didn't all come home, so we've made it our mission to make sure everybody else's family goes home," Cox said. "If we can have a small part in making sure that happens, especially in a catastrophe like this, then I think we're doing the job that Jaime left us to do."
The Salvation Army of Rockford and Winnebago County said the donations will go to helping first responders during the Chemtool fire and beyond.
"Everyone has a capacity and what they can do to give so anything you can do is tremendous help," Nancy Jenkins, Development Director with the Salvation Army, said. "It speaks to the power of community and coming together."
"Everyday I'm surprised by the generosity of this community," Jenkins said. "It's tremendous."