Hello Friends and Family, 

As many of you know, about 3 years ago Gareth, the kids, & myself, with the help of my parents Gordon & Betsy, took a leap of faith and purchased 19 acres in Lawson Valley. It was just a piece of raw land, off a dirt road and most thought we were crazy. Jumping from one hurdle to the next we slowly chipped away at building our Ranch. We emptied our savings and it still was never enough. However, at the end of the day we knew it was worth it and that we were giving our children the life that we had envisioned for them. Anyone who has been out, knows that it is a constant work in progress.

One of the biggest obstacles we dealt with was permitting. And as if dealing with the county wasn't hard enough the COVID crisis happened and every step forward took triple the time and was far more complicated. One complication we didn't expect to shatter us, was that until our home had been finalized by the city, no insurance company would insure our home or ranch.

On Saturday September 5, 2020 the Valley Fired sparked up in the Cleveland National Forest and was headed straight for us. After loading up our valuables, the dogs, and kids we evacuated as asked. At that point all we could see was a ton of smoke and we prayed it would stay that way as we drove into town. Once in town we pulled up our security cameras and witnessed what appeared to be 30-50 ft flames pouring onto our Ranch at 3 corners before it went dark. Choked up, but trying to be strong for the kids, we prepared for the worst. We could not believe it was happening. These parts had not burned in 50+ years and of course they are burning now, when we have no insurance. 

On the drive to my parents that evening we tried to make light of a bad situation. The next morning Gareth and my Dad, got up at 4am and headed to assess the damage. The roads were closed, but they didn't care. When they got to the Ranch everything had been burned to the ground.. EXCEPT OUR HOME! It is hard to put into words how blessed we felt in that moment. It really is a Miracle. The fire devoured our entire land and didn't stop there. 

We have set up this GOFUNDME to ask for  help to restore our property to its minimum functioning condition. We are 100% solar and the entire system; solar house, inverter, 24 solar panels, 16 batteries have been destroyed. We are too far off grid to hook up to county water and our well, well house, and water tank have burned and melted in the ground. The children's shed which held books, toys, quads, & more all gone. Two chicken coops burned to the ground taking with them the lives of of 8 chickens, 5 ducklings, and 2 roosters. 2 metal storage containers; one which was used as Gareth workshop and where he stored his tools, the other had family memorabilia, strollers, baby stuff, holiday decorations, and more! 

As most of you know, we are hard working, responsible, family people and we know we will always do what it takes to make this dream of ours happen. But we also know that it would take a very long time for us to generate the kind of revenue needed to move our family back into our home. Many of you have asked how you can help, if you can help with any amount towards the cost, or if you can help with labor, or even babysitting while we work, we would be extremely appreciative.

Welcome To Our Ranch...

Remembering its former glory!


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Jax Joseph 
Jamul, CA
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