#WATWB: Arising from the Ashes

Mayor Jody Jones takes a picture of where her house used to be in Paradise, Calif., on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.

The California wildfires have been the worst in the state’s history, with the City of Paradise being virtually destroyed.

An update from CNN as of November 23rd:

“After more than two weeks of a raging inferno, firefighters are getting closer to containing the Camp Fire that has killed 84 people in Northern California. At least 475 people remain unaccounted for, down from more than 1,000 days earlier, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said.

California’s deadliest wildfire, which started November 8, remained 95% contained after rain helped firefighters extinguish some of the hot spots, Cal Fire, the state’s forestry and fire protection agency, said Saturday morning. ‘The fire line that remains uncontained is located in steep and rugged terrain where it is unsafe for firefighters to access due to the heavy rains’ Cal Fire said. Firefighters continue to monitor the area and will reassess when it’s safe.”

When life became more difficult than one can imagine for Paradise, love and community arose from the ashes of a devastating wildfire. An Auburn, California, High School volleyball team, Forest Lake Christian School, reached out with their hearts and pocketbooks to the Paradise Adventist Academy, a team they would play shortly after Paradise was decimated by fire. Forest Lake presented Paradise Adventist with new uniforms, donated clothes and gift cards for each student.

“To have our community show up in such a huge way, I’m still blown away by it,” Forest Lake Christian head coach Travis Smith said, per The Union. “I’ve never seen that many people in our gym, and there were people there who had never watched a volleyball game in their life, but they came to support what we were doing.”

You can watch a video and read more about how one community helped another in time of need HERE.

Many other individuals and communities are helping Paradise and other areas of California who have also been struck by wildfires. It seems that in times of utter devastation, humanity and love always show up to lend a hand.

Organizations working closely with survivors:

  • California Fire Foundation. Through its SAVE Program, the California Fire Foundation is distributing $250 cash gift cards for those who have lost their homes. “Anyone who has suffered a loss of more than 25 percent of their home can get a gift card for $250 per household,” says Carroll Willis, communications director at the California Fire Foundation and the California Professional Firefighters.
  • United Way (Greater Los Angeles) and United Way of Northern California. United Way is working both with immediate financial aid for survivors and on long-term recovery efforts.
  • California Community Foundation, assisting with long-term recovery efforts and people who have been displaced and/or unemployed because of the fires.
  • North Valley Community Foundation, which is offering grocery and other gift cards available at the Chico Posse Foundation.
  • Ventura County Community Foundation allows survivors to sign up and pply for funds.
  • AirBNB has an Open Homes program through which you can donate a temporary living space. This is a very practical way to help if you have a spare room nearby or other property near the impacted areas.

watw-turquoise-badge-275-x241-whiteThe “We are the World” Blogfest is in its second year of a heartfelt journey. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts, Eric Lahti, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Peter Nena and Damyanti Biswas>, welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time. You are always welcome!

Please SIGN UP for WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST in the linky list that opens up in a new window:

Click HERE to be part of the Light.

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23 responses to #WATWB: Arising from the Ashes

  1. Dan Antion says:

    This fire was so devastating, it’s really hard to comprehend the scope of the damage and the amount of time it will take survivors to rebuild (if they can). It’s heartwarming to see people and organizations step up and provide direct aid to individuals affected by the fire. The volleyball team’s gesture is really wonderful. Thanks for sharing this story for #WATWB

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I tried to think of what I would do if my community was totally decimated, and I can hardly imagine. I hope and pray that the people affected by the wildfires receive the help they need.

      • Dan Antion says:

        The other sad story is the people whose homes were not destroyed. They are left with a home without utilities, schools, grocery stores, but they have no help from insurance. They are lucky, but they are still suffering.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      It’s been all or nothing with the rain. I hope they get all the help needed and then some to rebuild or at least restart their lives.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I have great faith, Judy, that the good and caring far outnumber the alternative in this world. I’m happy to share the light of an amazing volleyball story.

  2. JoAnna says:

    I had seen the story, but not the video until now. It brought tears of joy to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this goodness in such a hopeful post.

  3. Peter Nena says:

    I read about those fires with horror. Several times I have asked myself who is it that sets the place on fire, where do the fires start. My heart goes out to those affected, who have lost so much, and fills with wonder, astonishment, and love for the strong-willed, dutiful firefighters who engage to save lives and property. Firefighters are some of the truest heroes we still have on this troubled planet.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      In this instance, California was lacking rain and I think anything could have set off the fires…one cigarette, a campfire left unattended, etc. I found an article that explores the possible reason, but says it’s most likely human error.

      Yes, kudos to the firefighters in Caifornia and around the world who do battle with devastating and life-threatening flames every day. They really are heroes of humanity.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I haven’t been watching much of the news either, so had to do some research online. I don’t think you can capture the magnitude of devastation like this in story or photos. To be there, in person, has to be horrific and heart breaking.

  4. Laura says:

    It’s hard to fathom what it’s like to lose so much in one fell swoop. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  5. joey says:

    I can’t even imagine. I can’t fathom it. When I see it, I’m awed speechless. It’s wonderful to see people who care, coming together to help.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      When these tragedies happen, it always puts me in a right place where I know I’m blessed and fortunate and should never take my home for granted.

  6. Susan Scott says:

    ‘It seems that in times of utter devastation, humanity and love always show up to lend a hand’. How true this is Mary .. and the firefighters are true heroes too …

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