The Hughes family. This is an extended family (Grandma/Grandpa, their 5 kids and grandchildren.) all lost their homes in the Paradise Camp Fire. That's 6 homes, and 5 lost. None of the homes were insured. They lost EVERYTHING. Their stories range from fighting off the fire with a garden hose from the rooftop of a hospital, to running through the mountains and jumping fences to save family members. Here's what one of the sisters wrote about each family member:
Del & Lillian (grandparents): UPDATE ON DEL: He underwent surgery today to amputate part of his foot. They lost their health insurance due to the fires and having to move. They are paying out of pocket. Please send your prayers their way...
Something my parents each have lost since this fire was not only their home and their jobs, but their self-made side businesses that they were so passionate about. My mom Lillian owned her own sought after catering business that she spent years to create. My dad Del was a very well established piano and trumpet teacher. He also donated his talents as a singer and piano player to countless weddings, Christmas programs and events for our community. Any little bit helps, but if there was a way for them to get $4000 for a piano and some catering tools it would make the mountain they’re climbing seem a little less steep. I know we can’t replace the friendships and connections made, but the means to be able to restart in a new place would mean more than a replaced chaffing dish. It would mean more than all the music books lost. It would be a piece of their life back, a piece to be able to give back to a community. UPDATE on Lillian: Thanks to a private donor and amazing individual, Lillian has received a donation for her catering tools!
Philip & Stephanie:
My brother Philip is also no stranger to rebuilding his life. It’s no secret that starting out in a small town can be a struggle, but he is one self-made business man that doesn’t let the struggle get him down. With time and hard work he was able to start his own business that had boomed before the fire. However, because he made the decision to save our sister-in-law and nieces and nephews instead of any of his things, his work truck and $6000 trailer burned. He left his livelihood to save lives, and that just isn’t something you can put a price on.
Becky and kids:
For my sister Becky, this unfortunately is not the first time she has had to rise from the ashes, so to speak. After an ugly divorce and custody battle, she has had to start from the very bottom. Right before the fire, she found a wonderful career right in our town, and her dream home. That was swiftly taken away the day of the fires. As a working, single mother of three, my sister was only able to find a room to temporarily rent from a friend as they were trying to sell their home. Now she is back to square one looking for a home by April. If we thought it was hard finding housing before, it is now almost impossible. On top of that, having daycare jump from $90 a month in Paradise to $800 a month in Chico, she is desperately trying save every last penny. $3000 would help her immensely to put a deposit and first months rent in a secure home for her and my nieces.
Alex & Deana:
My brother Alex is a woodworking craftsman. He has spent the last ten years buying and collecting everything needed to make not only his own furniture, but furniture for our whole family. For my wedding, he made me a beautiful, detailed hutch that stood in my entry way. If we could raise $2000 for him to replace his tools it would be an investment to his work. He truly has a gift as a carpenter and I just want to see him be able to rebuild his life, one piece at a time.
Jake & Brooke:
It is a hard thing to have to ask for help. Even before the fire, we all worked hard and struggled, but we had a plan and were making way. I even had a plan for when we could move across town to the home I’ve had my eye on since childhood. I had a plan for my children to go to the same schools that we did, and for big family birthday parties every month! Before the fire, my husband Jake and I were going to school, we were working hard at getting our careers and I just didn’t plan for that to be stopped at a screeching halt. Now since relocating, we’ve lost funds to moving, broken down cars and now will be looking at out of state costs for school. Anything helps, but if we could raise $5000 to help my husband get a reliable car for work and help with school funds it would be a stepping stone to getting us back on our feet and have an opportunity to better our lives after this tragedy.
Please consider donating to these families. EVERY BIT HELPS.