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True Volunteers: Stories of heroism and generosity from the wildfires

It's been two years since the Sevier County wildfires. If there's one thing we learned, it's that the Volunteer Spirit is indomitable in the face of overwhelming tragedy -- and we have dozens of stories to prove it.

Tom Barclay

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Published: 4:57 PM EST November 27, 2017
Updated: 9:47 AM EST November 28, 2018

No amount of time can truly heal all the wounds left by a great tragedy like the Sevier County wildfires, as much as we'd like it to just go away. There is hope in spite of this pain, though, and we've seen it blossom from the night of the fires.

That hope is in the hundreds of named and unnamed heroes who risked their lives to rescue others. It's in the thousands of volunteers from across the world who gave what they could in the greatest times of need and beyond. It's in the tales of recovery and rebuilding within just the first year.

The response people showed during and after the wildfires proved the "Volunteer State" is not just a name, it's within the spirit of people here and across the world. We dug through hundreds of stories in hopes of proving this, and we were not disappointed to find more stories than we can possibly highlight here.

From heroes who risked their lives to help others, to hometown celebrities who've given so much more than just money, to simple stories of hope and joy from people who lost everything: We believe these stories deserve your attention once more, even if it's only as a reminder of how much good happened since then. Simply click on the story title to relive these many inspiring and wonderful moments of generosity.

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