A good friend and coworker of mine, Donald Black, is one of many individuals who lost their homes and possessions in the Camp Fire near Paradise, California.
Don Black has been an avid outdoorsman, hunting and fishing since a young age. He's made his career helping others get into the the outdoors working as a hunting a fishing sales representative for decades at locations across Northern California including Chico Sportsman's Den, Chico Longs Drugs, Chico Sportsman's Warehouse and now at Kittles Outdoors and Sport Co. in Colusa, CA. In addition to his chosen career in hunting and fishing sales, Don also did a two year stint in the US Army and worked as an English professor at CSU Chico. Don has also written articles for several outdoor sporting publications.
Don left for work the morning the fire broke out just as he did every day, locking his dog in her kennel on the back porch and heading past the Honey Run Covered Bridge near his home. He had heard about the fire breaking out in Pulga, CA in the morning but wasn't concerned as Pulga is almost 45 miles away from his residence. What he didn't know was the fire that had ignited that morning would become the most devastating in California's long history of wildfires. By the end of his work shift, he would be informed that his neighborhood was under mandatory evacuation. Three days of couch surfing with friend later, he was informed his residence was destroyed in the fire.
Unlike some evacuees who had their homes destroyed, Don wasn't even aware his home was at risk when he left for work so he didn't have the opportunity to take prized or important possessions with him. He had only his vehicle and the clothing he was wearing. Everything else, including his dog, would perish in the flames of the Camp Fire.
I'm setting up this GoFundMe to help Don get back on his feet and buy the necessary replacement items to get him from day to day. Don Black is a good man with a big heart who despite losing what he has, is still coming to work and helping others, including other evacuees and victims of the Camp Fire. He is truly deserving of assistance in this time. Thank all of you who donate to this cause, whatever amount you can spare will make a huge difference.
--Having read the biographical sketch above listed by my dad’s co-worker id like to add a couple personal notes.
Many of the people who have encountered my dad in his 40 plus years of working in the sporting goods industry perhaps didn’t know that he was a Magna Cum Laude BA graduate and a Suma Cum Laude MA graduate of Chico State University. He was also a teacher in the English department Chico State University and Butte Community College.
My dad served in the Army during the Viet Nam era, which was during my early childhood. I know these years were a difficult time for him as he wanted to be home with his wife and child and be a part of their life.
With that behind him he came home and finished his education to pursue his career in teaching. What my dad came to realize after his years as a professor, was that his passion for the outdoors and hunting and fishing was his true calling.
He began working in the sporting good industry at “Gambles Sport haven” on a part time basis as he was still working at the college. When he discovered the hunting and fishing opportunities available within the north state he found that his passion for hunting and fishing and being able to share that bond with others, was best served in retail sporting goods sales. He never looked back at this point and he left the college and went into the sporting goods business full time.
Since then my dad has shared his knowledge and experiences with thousands of people in the industry. From my own lifetime, I know at least three generations of families that my dad has had the pleasure to share his knowledge and passion with.
I too share this passion with my dad as it was instilled upon me at such an early age. From fishing trips where I was to small to wade across the rivers and clung to my dads hip, to sleeping in the bottom of duck blinds, I will always share this passion.
My dad is and independent and proud old CUSS! Who had his 74th birthday the day before the campfire consumed everything that would allow him to continue his outdoor pursuits in these, his waning years.
I’m reaching out to any and all who’s lives he touched and influenced to insure he can continue actively enjoying his active outdoor lifestyle.
Thank you to anyone who takes part in fund. Any and all generosity is greatly appreciated