A Long Day – Camp Fire

by Jack

(Working at the shelter)

The Camp Fire has left tens of thousands of people suddenly homeless and many folks barely  escaped with the clothes on there back.  They urgently need help.  The upside is we were fairly well prepared.  We have many shelters offering food, a bed and safety.  Most shelters are providing clothing and many necessary items.

What’s it like to be a volunteer?  Well, a volunteer at a Red Cross shelter can be called upon to do many things, sometimes unusual or unexpected things, but its all good.  Sometimes you hand out food, sometimes its clothing, other times it might be produce from the back end of a truck, whatever comes in that people need, goes out pretty fast and somebody has to help make it happen.  That’s what our group did all day long.

Fortunately, there was an abundance of food, clothing, toiletries and the helpers to sort it all out.  All thanks to the generosity of our community and of course the skilled Red Cross volunteers.  Businesses, every day people all contributed something, it was wonderful to see so many giving so much.

I can’t express in words what that meant to these survivors to see this outpouring of help.  And I imagine this is taking place in shelters all over Chico, Gridley, Oroville and more.   At the high point I know we had 52,000 displaced people, a few have returned home, but most haven’t, so we have a lot of people to help.

Today, many of my fellow volunteers (including a lot of retirees)  that were working at the (Chico Elks)  shelter were ready to call it a day by 6 PM.  But, some of the others were still going strong as I left, I can’t imagine where they got the stamina?   Volunteers get physically and emotionally drained faster in a crisis situation than otherwise.  But, it’s more than worth it, because at the end of the day you go home knowing in some small way you made a difference.

A volunteer’s  smile, directing a survivor to the right table for assistance or perhaps listening to a survivors story, well, it just helps off set some of the sadness. So you don’t have to be an expert in shelter management.   I’ll be back tomorrow and so will hundreds of others and we’ll keep coming back as long as they need us.

Would you like to be a volunteer?  Then go to your nearest shelter and tell them you want to help.   This is going to be a long process, so if they have enough volunteers one day, come back the next.  I guarantee you will be needed.,

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16 Responses to A Long Day – Camp Fire

  1. Peggy says:

    I welcomed a girlfriend her daughter, their two dogs and a cat into my home on Friday.

    Their homes are next door to each other in upper Magalia. The daughter was at work already in Chico Friday morning when the fire hit Paradise. My girlfriend tried to drive down Skyway, but was forced to turn around just this side of the dam before Pentz Rd., because of a wall of flames. She returned to Magalia Pines Baptist Church parking lot where she called her daughter for help. Her daughter sent a employee from the company, who happened to be in the area, to go pick her up. He got them out through the back roads to Hwy 32 and into Chico safely.

    I kept in touch with her a couple of times during the day to make sure she was safe. About 3pm she called and asked if they could take me up on my offer to have them stay with me. They arrived with little to nothing except the clothes they wore and a few things she could grab.

    My two dogs a Maltese and a Chihuahua met a sweet pit bull and a dachshund. The first two days were a little tense, but by today they all grew comfortable with each other. The cat arrived today by special delivery and is making a home in my garage.

    We also learned today that both of their homes are still standing without any damage at all. They understand they won’t be able to return for at least a month, but are so grateful to have a home to return to. And I’m just thankful they’re here and I have a home, even if it’s a little small right now, for them to come to. We’ll make it work and have fun as we get really cozy together.

    A side note. Before moving to Chico I lived on Edgewood Ln. in Paradise in a beautiful home on a small canyon that faced Pentz Rd. The same road the first five reported to have been killed by the fire lived.

  2. J. Soden says:

    More kudos to actor James Woods. He’s even trying to help animals either lost or found after the Camp Fire to help them find their families.

  3. Thank You for all your help says:

    Please help and do what you can, you will experience such a indescribable personnial reward:

    “Would you like to be a volunteer? Then go to your nearest shelter and tell them you want to help. This is going to be a long process, so if they have enough volunteers one day, come back the next. I guarantee you will be needed”

    Needs to be said over and over, Most People will come together once they understand they are needed, yes you go home tried after the volunteering , but you also feel inwardly rewarded for what your able to do to help.. that is one of volunteering’s blessing’s

  4. Tina says:

    Those who, for health reasons, are told not to go out can still help by cleaning out their closets and drawers to donate needed items that are in good shape. In addition to clothing, you may have extras that can be of use to others…new soaps, tooth paste, toothbrushes, wipes, feminine products, deodorant.

  5. J. Soden says:

    More help for first responders:

    Well done, Fieri!!!!!!

    And James Woods has expanded his Twitter assistance to fire victims and pets to the fires around LA. Gotta wonder where the rest of the “celebrities” are . . . . .

  6. Harold says:

    Not sure my first post made it, no confirmation, so once more, sorry if this is a duplicate.

    For policyholders affected by the #CampFire, there are mobile claims units in Chico now ready to meet with you. Several of the companies including Nationwide (Allied) Insurance and Travelers Insurance have set upstaging areas in the empty lot on East 20th Street and Notre Dame Blvd. Safeco/Liberty Mutual has set up in the Lowes parking lot, 2350 Forest Ave. Mercury has set up at Butte County Fair Grounds at 199 East Hazel Streetin Gridley. If you plan on visiting these mobile units, please call ahead and provide your policy number and related information if possible as it will make the process go so much quicker.

    Here are some of the claims numbers you can call directly.

    American Modern – Homeowner Claims: 800-375-2075 / Auto Claims: 800-375-2075

    American Reliable- Homeowner Claims 800-245-1505 / Auto Claims 800-245-1505

    Aegis Homeowner Claim 800-233-2160 / Auto Claim 800-233-2160

    CIG Homeowner Claims 800-986-9974 / Auto Claims 800-986-9974

    Foremost Homeowner Claim 800-527-3907 / Auto Claim 800-274-7865

    Grange Homeowner Claim 800-546-8850 / Auto Claim 800-546-8850

    Hartford AARP Members: 877-805-9918 / Non-AARP Members: 800-243-5860

    Nationwide/Allied Homeowner Claims 800-421-3535 / Auto Claims 800-421-3535

    Progressive Auto Claims 800-776-4737

    Mercury Homeowner Claims 800-503-3724 / Auto Claims 800-503-3724

    Safeco Homeowner Claims 800-332-3226 / Auto Claims 800-332-3226

    Travelers Homeowner Claims 800-252-4633 / Auto Claims 800-252-4633

    Please do not hesitate to contact us directly with any questions or concerns.

  7. Harold says:

    Officials said the Disaster Distress Helpline, controlled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will also be available for anyone seeking assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    Callers can reach the helpline at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 to communicate with a crisis counselor.

  8. J. Soden says:

    Branco did it again this morning . . . . . .

  9. Libby says:

    “And James Woods has expanded his Twitter assistance to fire victims and pets to the fires around LA. Gotta wonder where the rest of the “celebrities” are . . .”

    Bizarre. Truly. Is this why we have an RTV star in the White House? I guess so.

    S, you want to ponder something … think … manifest some positive energies?

    You ponder the 100 National Guard persons being mobilized to locate the 200 “missing-feared-burned” up there.


    • Harold says:

      Geez, ??? I can not find the words to state how much of a A$$ Libby is,
      although I do have words that describe her, but a idiot and evil are not enough, however other than A$$,idiot and evil,, the other words can not be posted…

      Ignoring Libby’s stupid and demeaning comment, Chico has once more as a community come together for the aid and support of disaster victims, People finding time to volunteer, some after long hours of work each day. bringing supplies to those that need them, providing comfort from caring people, that’s what the Residents of Chico represent, and they are to congratulated.

      The flip side to that is people with a mental attitude and serpents tongue such as Libby, they all should be committed. If Libby serves any purpose in life, it might be she is a icon of the worst America has to offer.

  10. Pie Guevara says:

    There is Lippy and then there are some equally fine people fiercely competing with her in the think positive energy, make friends and influence people department —

    ISIS: Retribution, There Will Be More Fires

    Camp Fire Looters

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