My friend Sally lived near Paradise, California, with her three parrots -- those are their cages above on the right, sticking out of the ashes of her home. On the morning of November 8, a phone call woke her, telling her to GET OUT NOW! It was so dark that she thought it must be before dawn, but when she got outside, she could see that a fast-moving wildfire was already at the far end of her street, and the sky was dark with smoke. Here's the picture she took down the road as she fled:
She was lucky enough to escape, with the parrots, through jammed-up traffic, and find the last available room at a motel in nearby Chico. Now, she'll need help to fund a search for a suitable long-term home. She is disabled and on a fixed income, and lived in the most inexpensive rented place in the area, but California is an expensive place to live!
The town of Paradise was over 90% destroyed by the Camp Fire, which is, as of November 14, the most destructive and deadly wildfire in California history. More than 9,700 single-family homes are known to have been destroyed so far, and 71 people are known dead. (Here's a Sacramento Bee article
about the evacuees of the fire, and here's Sally's own article
about her experience.)
Most of the 27,000 former residents of the town of Paradise are also looking for housing, and high rents in this area will go higher still. Sally will need financial assistance to keep herself and her birds going while she searches for a new place to live, which may take some time. To explore some options, she will need to pay for overnight travel, and when she finds a place to rent, she will need at least the first month's rent plus security deposit. And although she carried renter's insurance, she has lost literally everything except the contents of her laundry basket, and the insurance payout is likely to fall short of replacing all that she needs. The proceeds of this campaign will go directly to Sally, who has been designated the sole recipient of these funds.
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I'm editing this story to assuage the concerns of GoFundMe that there must be something shady going on here because we've raised so much money so quickly without apparent reference to Facebook or Twitter (although I'm sure some of our donors are also sharing).
My name is Susan Williams. and I am proud to be a registered user of Daily Kos
. I know my friend Sally, the subject of this campaign, even though I live in New Jersey and she lives in California, because we are both part of the extraordinary online community there. The reason this campaign has been so very active is that, when we post on Daily Kos that a member of our community is in trouble, people turn out. A scroll through the comment section at this link
should be enough to show GoFundMe the source of this outpouring of activity and love. I predict more love for tomorrow. GoFundMe's other questions are, I think, already answered above.
(Please note that this campaign is an action taken collectively by individual users of Daily Kos and their personal contacts, and is in no way the action of Daily Kos or of Kos Media LLC.)