Collecting Gift Cards for California Fire Victims. Here is a note from a good friend of mine recently:
Hello fellow Oregon Golf Club members. I am sure that most of you are not aware that I grew up in Paradise, CA and still have many relatives and close family friends that until this past weekend still lived in Paradise. In the past few days, they, along with thousands of other former Paradise residents, have lost everything (houses, cars, personal belongings, memories, etc.) in the fire that still is only 25% contained.
Currently the fire is the most destructive and deadliest fire in California history, having burned over 120,000 acres and completely destroyed over 6500 homes and 300 businesses. Over 90% of the community is completely gone; hospitals, schools, grocery stores, everything. So far, in total, 30,000 people have been displaced and 5000 students no longer have a school they can attend.
My sister is the Executive Director of a Charter School that serves the Paradise and Chico communities. She currently has 211 students and staff that have been displaced from their homes. So far it has been confirmed that 11 of her teachers and 120 of her students have lost their homes. As the community opens back up for people to re-enter, this number will continue to grow. She is a member of a task force that is working with leaders from Paradise Unified School District and 4 other Charter Schools that have all lost their schools in the fire.
The stories from close friends and family members from this weekend are extremely hard to hear. Water planes and helicopters were dropping water on top of cars heading down the road to keep them cool enough to prevent them from self-combusting and killing the passengers due to the extreme heat from the fire on both sides of the road. One of my family members had every road out blocked so they parked their car in the middle of a baseball field for 6 hours while the fire raged 360 degrees around them. People were parking their cars on the side of the road and running down the middle of the road because it was faster than sitting in traffic. One of my cousins saw their house literally explode, likely due to the propane tanks that most of the community uses as a fuel source. Many of the “pictures” of houses appear as if nothing was ever there, everything was completely incinerated. So far over 40 people have died, with over 200 more still missing.
I am reaching out to anyone that can and is willing to help. The biggest ask at this point is for gift cards so the families can start procuring basic needs like toiletries, clothes and undergarments. The majority of the people that evacuated left with only the clothes on their back.
I am collecting smaller $25 gift cards (easier to distribute among lots of families) over the next few weeks and will get them to my sister’s school so they can get them to the people that need them the most. Gift cards to Kohl’s, Target, Walmart, Safeway, etc., will be the most helpful. These cards can be dropped off at the front business office or at the Pro Shop.
If anyone has any questions, please reach out to me at email@example.com
This is and will continue to be a very difficult time for the Paradise community.
Much thanks ahead of time to anyone that can help out.
We are asking that gift cards be sent either to Duckridge Realty or directly to the Oregon Golf Club so that they can continue onto the appropriate families. Thanks in advance for your support.
Oregon Golf Club
c/o Administrative Office
25700 SW Petes Mountain Rd
West Linn, OR 97068
1095 Dollar Street
West Linn, OR 97068