Camp Fire Relief Fund for Paula Tarrant

$3,400 of $500 goal

Raised by 61 people in 28 days
Created November 16, 2018
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Paula Tarrant
Hello my name is Jennifer Hawes, DC.  I live in Chico, CA and I have set up this fund to help my billing specialist of the past 14 years, Jan Tarrant, and her daughter Paula Tarrant.  The money raised will go directly to Jan and Paula to help them get housing and to rebuild their lives.

Paula Tarrant:
Hello my wonderful Friends and Family. As you know, my mom, my kitty and I were all able to get out of Paradise midmorning Thursday, November 8th, the morning the Camp Fire tore through our town. My mom was actually already in Chico, which was good.

It was very unnerving, getting the evacuation order, not having a sense of how much time one had. It was as dark as the middle of the night. The wind was blowing. Bits of debris were falling from the sky. Not ash. Bits of debris.

The feeling of needing to leave right.this.minute. really overrode my rational thinking, so I left with a change of clothes, my mom's meds, and our computers, and not much else. Not a single photo.  :( And, in my anxiety, my purse with all of my legal docs was left in the driveway or just inside the house.

I was still hopeful our house was spared, until I saw confirmation in the form of a photo a couple of days later. Burned to the ground. When they let us back in I'll be one of those people you see in news videos sifting through the debris looking for anything that might miraculously have survived.

Unfortunately, my mom had no insurance on our home. She was told she couldn't get it, since it was a mobile home.

On the upside, we have a place to stay. Wonderful, kind friends have opened their home to us. I have a job, since I work for the County. I have my car.

And I have all of you. So many people have posted on Facebook that you are thinking and praying for us, and asking what you can do, what you can send or give. Right now, I don’t even know what to say we need. Especially since we don’t have a place to live and may not for a while.

Having the financial resources to make that happen in the near future is what we need.


I was full of self-reproach last night about leaving behind my purse(!), the genealogy binders full of my mom's years of work and research, and a handful of keepsakes. The thumbprint art from the boys' kindergarten years, a special photo of them decorating the Christmas tree when they were 5 and 3, my grandmother's recipe book, a quilt made from a quilt top that my grandmother had put together decades ago that was then made into a quilt for me.

Those are the kinds of things I grieve the loss of. Most of the rest can be replaced with like items. Those things are part of the cord of continuity with the past, and with heritage. Snip, snip. Set free or set adrift. Some of each, most likely.

Our past doesn't determine our future. I don't believe that. I believe in self-determination and intention. But our past is our touchstone, a grounding place from which to look around, get our bearings, and determine into which direction we are going to strike out.

Not having my keepsakes, possessions that represent a trip taken, a favorite museum tour, favorite books, it all represents the warp and weft of the weaving of my life thus far. Without them, it feels like the fabric has been rent from the loom. There's a severing. The weaving will continue. Someday the cloth will be made whole again. Not sure how or when, buy hey, a needle and some thread, right? The damage becomes part of the pattern.

One immediate bright spot: My boxes of school archives and some memorabilia for my boys was in a storage unit in town that, as of now, appears to have come through the fire. I'm hoping that, except for smoke damage, they will still be there.

As of now, I don't know where I will end up. Some of that may be determined by the needs of my mom, with whom I was living and keeping an eye on. God bless her, she said at dinner last night that she was going to call her Paradise doctor in a couple of weeks to see if they were keeping appointments. It was a lot funny, and only a little sad. For those of you who know her, you know what a force of will, of indomitable will, my mom is. If it were up to her, this would all be tidied up and back to working order sooner than later.  :)

I never, ever, in all of my life, would have imagined something like this happening. And I've been through my share of ordeals.
Thank you, everyone, for your support and offers of love and assistance. You are all so loved and appreciated, as you are willing to do whatever you can to ease the way for all of us now. Thank you, thank you, with all my heart.

Right now, there's a lot to do practically speaking. My days have been full sorting out getting documents, making phone calls, getting ready for what’s ahead.

Well then. What do you do when life goes sideways and takes you along with it? How do you get your life back when something changes its shape and direction irrevocably? I'll let you know in the coming days and weeks and months as I craft a new narrative for myself.

 So, here I go. Face forward.
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I want to thank each of you who have donated. Together we can make a difference for Jan and Paula. If you have not already done so, I am asking that you share the link to your friends and family.
Jenny Hawes
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$3,400 of $500 goal

Raised by 61 people in 28 days
Created November 16, 2018
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Paula Tarrant
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