Now The Heavy Lifting Starts
This weekend I spent time talking to this lady. She explained that her husband will not go up to the house with her. This was her second time back to her home and she said it will be her last. She was able to find a jar of coins and that was it. For them, the heavy lifting starts now as they try to figure out what’s next in their lives.
There are signs of hope. Those with insurance are going to rebuild. This lady explained to me that they’d just finished a remodel after a year and a half of hard work. And then the fire. She and her husband are going to move a trailer onto their home site and start over.
I’ve spent countless hours driving back and forth, trying to find solutions for people that seemed so far away. But, progress is being made. Slowly, but it’s progress.
We found a room for rent in Chico for a couple I call Chico Car Key Couple. I have lots of people in my contacts and I have little acronyms that help me remember where I started with them. James and Sandra (their names) had their car keys stolen at the shelter, so I had a locksmith make them a new car key. Hence their name. I found a room for $350.00 a month. Thanks to your donations, we’re going to pay for two months while they look for jobs. They had stayed at four different shelters since the fire. This may not seem like monumental progress, but I had been working with this couple since the very beginning and it feels gratifying to see them start to step forward.
The Red Cross shelter will close January 31st. I’m working to try to find other solutions for people within the shelter. It’s so difficult, but like James and Sandra, I’m not going to give up.
January 3rd, Chico Tattoo Gloria and Ralph as they are known in my contacts will be leaving Paradise for good. Thanks to your donations, airline tickets have been bought and they will start their new life in Arizona. Ralph’s parents are very elderly and it’s time to go home, he said. It is because of you and your donations that a new life can start over for them.
On the 29th of December I will be meeting a couple on the side of the road along I-5 to pass along money needed to drive their family to Idaho where a new job is awaiting. It took a long time for a new path to unfold for them. It is very satisfying to be part of a solution.
Jasmine and her kids have moved back to their home in Magalia, no longer living out of her car. The clean up process has started and your donations are helping to complete this journey for her.
We still have a family in a hotel locally. Many layers of the onion have been peeled and I hope that this time next week I’ll have the last layer peeled.
There are about ten trailers set up at a property in Durham. Kim and Henry have done a tremendous amount of heavy lifting to accommodate the trailers on their property. As these families settle in, your donations will continue to help with basic needs.
A single mother of three, staying in two trailers on the property is hopefully going to move to this area. We’ve been able to locate an apartment and, if all goes well, I would like to give her a job. We will get her connected to the necessary services that will help her to get a new start. Her job in Paradise and home are gone. It’s my wish to make High-Hand her new home.
There’s been a lot of heavy lifting in Magalia. Refrigeration, a heated tent in which to serve food and food distribution are going very smoothly. Your donations helped deliver prepared food for Christmas Eve dinner.
A nice time was had by all on a rainy, foggy night. All of you should be very proud of your donations and what they are doing for people.
Twelve pallets of water were delivered today. Besides food, your donations are paying for water, pellets for heating and propane for cooking and keeping the tent warm.
With all this heavy lifting has come progress at the church. We’re now focused on helping them get through the winter.
There are still many families out in the fringes living in cars. I wonder when the media goes away what will happen. We’re going to continue to work with Pastor Doug in Magalia and Pastor Ron in Chico to find solutions.
Your donations are being used to create matching funds for trailers so we can continue to move families into more sustainable living conditions.
We have been able to donate a few cars and a trailer. I was happy to learn that today a father got a job and drove to work.
So, it is happening. Slowly. But I warn you, when the media goes away please understand that the heavy lifting has just begun. Through your donations we will continue to do everything in our power as long as we can or until every need we can find is resolved.
We are continuing to accept donations. Gift cards, gas cards and money to keep all of this funded through the winter.
Thank you so much for going on this journey with me.
How can you help out those impacted by the Camp Fire?
You have helped out so much! Here is what’s needed – Visa Gift Cards and cash. Gift cards and cash can be delivered directly to the nursery or sent to us by mail. Our address is:
P.O. Box 2280
Loomis, CA 95650
You can also call us and give us a credit card over the phone. Our number is 916-652-2065. We will turn all checks and credit card transactions into cash.