Jon and his brother Dan, like thousands of others, lost their home to the Paradise Fires of California. They had no renters insurance. They are currently living in a 20 foot trailer in a parking lot at a local Kmart with their 2 dogs. It has been 3 months since the fire.
I met Jon through a mutual acquaintance of mine. I heard about his story and had to meet him. By fleeing on a bike path in his car through the mountains, with fire all around them, he was able to escape with nothing but his 2 dogs, and some t-shirt making equipment he had saved from his home before it caught fire. Jon stated, "We lost everything but each other. We are thankful for that.
In the weeks that followed, after the fire, the two brothers used their car as their shelter, and slept there with their dogs. During this time, Jon and Dan used their shirt making equipment to make "Paradise Strong" and "Ridge Strong" t-shirts and sell them to raise money for other families that had lost their homes in the fires. They raised over $4500 for others, and also raised funds for "Project Camp Fire Kids, which led to the giving away of over 100 stockings for Christmas. It was amazing to me that these two men, who had no home of their own, were giving away what little they had. Now that the aftermath and initial frenzy has died down,
It's time to help them.
They are looking to move in to a more permanent place, but are saving up to purchase all the regular things you need to start a home. Pots/pans, towels, 2 beds, a couch, doggy food, human food... all of the necessities. Please please please consider donating to this family. Help them get out of the trailer and in to their new place by donating anything you can to help out. And if you can't donate, please share! The circle of help surrounding these families is full of similar faces and devastation... and sharing these stories is the only way to reach outside of their immediate circle to a greater force of strength and help. Whether it's $5, $20, $100.... together we can help make a difference. If you are saying to yourself, "I already gave money to the Red Cross... and I don't know these people." Please take a moment to get to know them and their story. You won't regret it. When I met Jon and Dan, it was a month after the fires. They went out in the pouring rain with me so we could film them seeing their "home" for the first time. They were outside for several hours off and on, and were soaking wet. I was cold and wet. When I went back to my hotel room, I couldn't help but think of them, and the fact that they didn't have a warm, dry home to go to, or a real shower to use. They are good, caring, giving guys, who could really use some help from others. We will update their fundraiser page to reflect the current needs as we go along. Below you'll see a photo of us all on that rainy night. Also, you'll see a photo taken as they raced their car through the woods escaping the fire. Lastly, are photos of their shirts and products you can purchase. Jon and Dan are still making t-shirts, and you can order them by emailing: email@example.com
**To see the initial results of our first fundraising efforts and how this all started, and our surprise Santa money giving, click here: https://youtu.be/MmEJVzZ2j6s
**Itsy Photography is dedicated to helping this cause. We are currently helping 11 families affected by the fires in a concentrated effort to make a difference. Once we reach our fundraising goals, I have a mile-long list of more families who also need help. If you'd like to see their stories as well, and/or donate to another family in need, click here: https://www.itsyphotography.com/fundraisers
**If you or your business would like to sponsor a family, or if you are interested in creating your own fundraiser to help support this family or others like them, please contact Ela, of Itsy Photography: https://www.itsyphotography.com/contact-me
Me and my family wearing our "Ridge Strong" shirts: