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EFT Universe Fire Recovery Fund

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You may have heard about the massive fires in Northern California, which burned 20,000 acres in just a few hours Sunday night to Monday morning. We lost the EFT Universe office building, as well as my home in the massive fire. We were home at the time and here’s what I shared with my close friends and family at 4 am Monday morning:

*** "We feel incredibly grateful to be alive.

At 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning, Oct 9, a wildfire consumed northern Santa Rosa, our home, and the EFT Universe office.

My wife, Christine, woke up at 1 a.m, woke me up, and I saw a glow on the horizon. A minute later, I looked out the window again and I could not believe how fast the fire was moving.

I yelled, "Christine, we are leaving right now." I threw on my clothes, grabbed the car keys and my wife’s hand, and sprinted to the car, which was parked at the office building in the back of the property. As we got to the car, a 40-foot high sheet of flame erupted behind a nearby storage building.

I drove as fast as I dared down our long driveway, past the house, and onto Mark West Springs Road. Smoke filled the air, but the night was lit with a bright yellow glow. The wind howled. We drove out through a firestorm of cinders hitting the car.

A few seconds later and we would not have made it out. I saw one or two cars behind us, but I don't believe many more people made it out of the inferno." ***

We’re creating this GoFundMe campaign as a commitment to live through the destruction of this fire and go on. We are determined to rebuild our lives and to EFT Universe surviving and growing.

As we're mourning our losses and the losses of our neighbors, our hearts have been touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support from our community. Thank you! Our family and friends have taken us in, given us clothes and food, and most importantly, their love and understanding.

Our property is insured, but only part of the contents of the office and house are covered. It will be a while before the insurance company can even start to assess the damage because the area is under a mandatory “no go” evacuation order and ours was one of over 500 homes destroyed on Monday morning and there are still fires burning in the area, as well as smoldering “hot spots” nearby.

We will get the work of EFT Universe up and running as soon as possible. If our work has helped you, and you’d like to give back, we graciously welcome your contributions at this shocking and difficult time. We need $50,000 immediately to help with computers, furniture, and countless other business necessities. All contributions are deeply appreciated and contribute to the immediate continuity of our work.

On a personal note, for me, asking is very difficult. One friend of mine once joked, “Dawson, if you were given a choice, ‘ask’ or ‘die,’ you’d choose die!” But in the last 48 hours, an outpouring of generous support is making our loss more bearable and our family and friends have wisely urged us to simply ask for what we need.

My wife’s daughter Julia brought us to a shelter to get clothes. My son Lionel flew in from New York to help. Christine’s other daughter Jessie accepted a friend's offer to watch her kids so she could come to us. My daughter Rexana arranged for her UC Berkeley classes and a midterm to wait until next week. All of our adult children converged in Northern California Santa Rosa to take care of us. Friends and family have made food and brought meals, and complete strangers have shown us kindness.

It seems the Universe is determined to assist me in learning to receive and to ask! Thanks for being part of this wonderful effort, and I’ll keep you posted as things unfold.

Please read Dawson's blog post #2 for an update:

Please read Dawson's blog post #1 for an update:

A WORD FROM LIONEL (Dawson's son):

This campaign is for my dad, Christine, and the staff of
EFT Universe. I feel deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of my dad's home and the devastation of large sections of my home city. What's unexpected for me is how meaningful and significant the gathering of family around a tragic loss is feeling. We're helping Christine and my dad with love and pride, as they've given us so much and we want to give back.



  • Tsgoyna Tanzman
    • $25 
    • 6 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Lionel Peter Church
Santa Rosa, CA
Dawson Church

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