Hello, my name is Lael Edmonds, and I am a childhood friend of Evie's, from her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Joy, AKA Liz, asked me to help them by posting this gofundme for them. The funds will go to Joy to assist with relocation from California to Richmond, and setting up a new household, and purchasing replacement medical equipment for Evie, who is disabled. Only Joy will be able to withdraw donated funds, not me.
Our Story – Joy and Evie Lonnes
Imagine, loud banging wakes you up at 2:30 AM. The winds are gusting outside blowing your outdoor furniture around. You get up and go out your front door to see what's happening. The smoke is so thick you begin coughing. You can barely breath. You cover your face with the neck of your pajamas. You look around and realize that live embers are blowing around, landing on your driveway, your street, your walkway, and then you realize, on your ROOF! Wow! That only means one thing. EVACUATE NOW!
You wake up your partner, your kids, dress quickly, grab the pets, the cell and laptop and go. As you’re driving out you see another house in your neighborhood fully engulfed in flames. You get out with only minutes to spare. Now you are driving but you have no idea where you are going.
At 3 a.m. on Monday October 9th, Evie and Joy (AKA Liz) Lonnes’ home in Journey’s End mobile home park in Santa Rosa, California burned to the ground. The Tubbs wildfire had winds gusting at 50 to 60 MPH, spreading live embers with lightning speed. The fire was jumping and running so fast that people had no time to pack. Everyone in the Porter Canyon area, Fountaingrove Hills area and the Journey's End Park had to literally run for their lives. Evie and Joy were some of the lucky ones who escaped with their lives, and the clothes on their backs.
What our neighborhood looked like after the fire swept through
Joy is a great grandma of 74 years old. She is caring for her disabled daughter Evie, who is permanently disabled from a hemorrhagic stroke. Evie is both hearing and speech impaired, as well as suffering from right side immobility.
Evie and Joy (AKA Liz) Lonnes
Not only did Joy lose her residence, and a lifetimes’ collection of belongings, but she lost her ability to continue her courier work in Sonoma county, which was provided some income to supplement social security. The cost of living is Sonoma is so high that she cannot afford to stay.
Evie and Joy in front of their home before the fire
There is practically no housing available in Santa Rosa. There was a serious shortage before the fire, but now, since thousands of people have lost their homes, the pressure on housing is simple unimaginable. In fact, Sonoma county is estimated to have lost 20% of all its residences, and the fires aren't done yet.
What Happens Next
Through heartbreaking loss, Joy has continued maintain a positive attitude, and an ability to keep moving forward. She finds it necessary to move back to Richmond, where she fortunately has family and friends. Her daughter, Diana, is offering her a place to stay temporarily so she and Evie can transition to a new life. They are very grateful.
How you can help
Joy hopes to raise at least $15,000 to fund the costs of moving and acquiring a whole new set of household furnishings and supplies, clothing and disabled supplies to help Evie with the tasks of daily living. Anything and everything that anyone is moved to contribute, is gratefully accepted and deeply appreciated.
Please share this post to your own networks via email, Facebook, etc.
article by The Guardian on the destruction at Journey’s End, including a brief interview with Joy here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/11/heart-of-disaster-california-wildfire-evacuees-return-to-a-wasteland
This post was created by a family friend, Lael Edmonds, who lives in Richmond Virginia. ALL FUNDS RAISED WILL GO DIRECTLY TO JOY(LIZ) AND EVIE. Please contact me through gofundme link if you need further information.
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