TN photographer captures striking pictures of the 'Voices of Gatlinburg'

TN photographer captures striking pictures of the 'Voices of Gatlinburg'
(Source: Jeremy Cowart)
(Source: Jeremy Cowart)

GATLINBURG, TN (WTVM) – A Nashville, TN photographer hopes to inspire others to help those who lost their homes in the Gatlinburg fire in November.

A wildfire that claimed 14 lives and thousands of homes and businesses in Gatlinburg gave photographer Jeremy Cowart an idea to help the people in the area.

"I was sitting in church at 'Church of the City,' thinking about the people of Gatlinburg and I wanted to help. So I started typing on my phone and came up with the idea of a "drone and a mattress," Cowart said in a Facebook post.

Cowart then got together a group of volunteer friends who traveled to the area to help create a series of images that would bring awareness to the fire's victims and their current needs.

The project took nearly a week, from Dec. 14 until Dec. 20. "Voices of Gatlinburg" has gained attention nationwide toward recovery efforts for area families.

"Voices of Gatlinburg" was inspired by "Voices of Haiti," a photo essay from January 2010, when Cowart traveled to the region following the earthquake. The project was displayed prominently at the entrance of a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations in March of 2010. They pledged $10 billion to the recovery effort.

In the striking pictures, Cowart shares the story of 22 Gatlinburg families along with their GoFundMe pages.

I had to make the hardest phone call to my wife and kids, and tell them that everything we owned was gone. - Click here to help the Thompsons
I'm a single mom struggling to stay strong for my babies and find us a home. I need a place where I can feel secure for me and my two babies. We won't be able to have a Christmas. - Click here to help Claudia.
I remember going back to the car at one point to drive to the next residence, and I text, I just recently got divorced, I texted my ex-wife, and told her to tell my son that I loved him, and that I didn't know if I was gonna make it through. - Chuck Reagan

For more information on this 'Voices of Gatlinburg' click here.

Mobile users click here to view the slideshow. 

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