My heart is breaking as I watch the news of the enormous fire in Butte County. The entire town of Paradise has been wiped OUT. The flames tore through that area at an incredible speed. My son works at the Sacramento International Airport. He said, “Imagine the runway here. The length of it is how fast the fire was moving in ONE minute!” I personally have three different families in my sphere who lost EVERYTHING. So I ask myself what can I DO?
The disasters we have to deal with often brings us to a place in our heart that sounds a bit like this: “What can I do? How can I do anything that makes a difference?”Anything you can do makes a difference. I mean it! Every single small act of philanthropy is a generous contribution to the greater whole. There are millions of us in the state of California. Our Nevada County is noted as being one of the GREATEST when it comes to philanthropic giving. We are generous people. We have more “help groups” in our little community of Grass Valley than many entire counties.
During this type of disaster, though, the best thing you can do is stay in touch with the groups that POP UP to help. This past Saturday morning there was a huge line of people dropping off donations at Nevada Union High School. Many of these people have jobs, families, and other commitments on a Saturday morning. They drove in with things they have collected from their own homes and brought them to share with others.
Look through your closets. Ask yourself if you have clothing that is either too small or no longer needed and donate these. Most especially needed are socks and warm sweats as well as jackets and blankets. But, if you have a spare toothbrush, a pair of jeans that you don’t love, a blanket that isn’t the best and fluffiest anymore, or even old towels, they can be used by someone who has nothing.
Don’t forget purses, ladies. One of the things I did yesterday was take an old bag, clean it up, and fill it with toilet items that I would miss if I was in a disaster relief shelter at the high school. Paper products are always helpful, especially personal things like toilet paper, panty liners, and diapers. Think about yourself. What would you need if you had nothing? If you have a spare purse handy, donate it!
Don’t forget the pets. There are huge needs at this time for anything to help with those who have pets to feed! Wet food in cans, puppy pads, cat litter, shallow boxes, watering dishes, and tubs for those who have large breeds. Up here in our county, there are many horse facilities. They generally are the first to show up in a disaster with their trailers and fencing. God bless them.
I am humbled to be able to share this information with you. Be creative. Even if you cannot BE there to help, you can call the local disaster relief center and ask them what they need. Last disaster I was able to take several coolers full of ,ilk and cereal the day after. I heard that Target and Walmart Gift cards are appreciated. Costco cards as well as pharmacy cards are very helpful. Our fellow citizens need it all. Many of them are NOT able to go and purchase what they have lost.
Lets do all we can every little bit we can every thoughtful act of kindness makes a difference. Then pray for them each and all.