Holiday Week 1 Recap: A Reflection
Good Morning Beautiful People ❤
I don’t have a recipe for you today. I wanted to. But my heart felt full and so I needed to pull up a chair and just write. If you’re in a hurry, I understand. Go ahead and click away. If you have time, read on. My heart is with the people in the wildfires. While one half of our country is blanketed in snow, the other half burns. I am on the side that burns. In fact, just 100 miles south of me it is burning right now. The forecasters said the wildfires would likely burn through Christmas. I can’t help but take pause for all of those impacted. Over the past few days my phone would blare the emergency alert sounds of one major fire and all of the evacuation notices. Finally we decided to pack some bags just in case.
If you’ve been following me, you’ll know that my family and I are minimalists. We’ve long purged anything extra and kept only the things that we felt were important. So when it came time to pack our bags…. it wasn’t that difficult. We each have a 25 liter backpack and quickly we filled them with our most favorite things. What would you put in your backpack? After my capsule wardrobe was tucked inside I placed my journal and a pen. Next came my camera and several homemade letters and cards from my family. I looked at my backpack and realized what was truly important to me: family.
The wildfires, God forbid, could burn this far north and take my home. They can take my computer that I type to you on. They can take my cooking dishes and pots that I use everyday. They can take the table that I laugh and sit at with my daughter. And they can take the comfy chairs that I relax in. They can even take the amazingly comfortable memory foam bed I sleep on. But they can’t take my family. Family comes first! Always. That, I would fight for any day of the week. And so we packed and set our bags by the door. Then we waited.
The alarms died down for now but the fires still rage on. Cal Fire workers are fighting around the clock and planes are swooping overhead with retardant to try and fight the nearly 10 major fires across the state. Los Angeles is literally on fire. It’s a weird moment in time. While some are rejoicing in a White Christmas, others have lost everything they have and are watching their Christmas turn to a pile of ash. It’s kind of depressing. So I woke up this morning needing a bit of peace. I wondered, how can we find light in such a dark situation? It’s easy to turn a blind eye to those in need when it doesn’t directly impact us. But we shouldn’t. That’s not what life is about. It’s about giving not receiving. It’s about putting others before ourselves.
With that said, here are a few ways you can help those affected by the fires:
There are plenty of verified GoFundMe pages with families posting for help here: https://www.gofundme.com/cause/southern-ca-fire-relief/campaigns
The Red Cross is accepting applications for volunteers on its website.
YouCaring, an online crowd-funding platform, has created a landing page with all of its campaigns for Southern California wildfire relief.
Humane Society of Ventura County
The Humane Society of Ventura County is in need of donations after taking in more than 300 animals since the fires began Monday.
The organization has set up a registry wishlist on Amazon.com with items needed to care for the diverse group of animals currently in its care.
Those unable to bring supplies or food to the shelter can make cash donations on HCVC’s website.
Salvation Army Ventura Corps
The Salvation Army Ventura Corps is set up at the Ventura County Fairgrounds and is need of food and water to help evacuees.
Santa Barbara-based Direct Relief has responded to the fires with items requested by local health-care providers, including N-95 respiratory masks and emergency health kits full of emergency medicines and supplies.
To donate, visit http://directrelief.org/donate, click “Direct my donation to” and choose “Southern California Wildfires.” Direct Relief says it is committed to ensuring that 100 percent of funds designated by donors for relief of the Southern California wildfires will go to that cause.
Ventura County Community Disaster Relief Fund
The Ventura County Community Disaster Relief Fund, created by the Ventura County Community Foundation, supports organizations providing shelter and long-term housing, legal services, education, healthcare and other immediate and long-term needs of those affected by the Thomas Fire.
CCF Wildfire Relief Fund
The CCF Wildfire Relief Fund supports intermediate and long-term recovery efforts for major California wildfires, as well as preparedness efforts.
If you made it this far reading, thank you. I know this isn’t the normally chipper blog post that I put up here. But I just feel so passionate about doing what we can to help. Keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers as we inch towards the holiday break. Have a good weekend everyone and remember to hug your loved ones a little bit tighter today ❤