Help Laura Recover from Losing Home

After a previous brush with disaster during the Santa Rosa, CA fires in October, Laura Shaskey was keenly aware of just how fast a wildfire can spread. When the recently installed NextDoor App alerted her to the existence of a fire fifteen miles away, she knew she should alert her housemates. “Hi guys, don’t want to freak you out but I want to make sure you’re aware that there is a huge wildfire that blew up near Santa Paula tonight that is moving this way…”

Although there were no signs of fire at the time of her text, within a half hour of sending it out the neighborhood was surrounded by flames, driven by sixty mile per-hour wind gusts. It was time to grab what she could and leave. For Laura that meant a laptop, a few documents, some basic toiletries and her cat Misty. As the fires that eventually covered the Ventura hillside moved in, Laura watched from her office at the harbor. In very short order the house burned to the ground in what became known as the Thomas Fire, which has burned through much of Ventura County, California.

Laura lost nearly everything, but her vigilance in alerting her roommates helped everyone get out with what they could.

A bit about Laura:

Laura is a Wildlife Biologist with Channel Islands National Park. She now leads the much-celebrated Island Fox Program that has sustained the fox population on the islands within the park.  She has worked in conservation programs throughout California, including managing habitat for Sandhill Cranes and the California Condors.  She is very kind and considerate, and her thoughtfulness made a major difference to her housemates.

This is a great opportunity to help someone who had literally everything erased in the blink of an eye. We can’t replace the car, photo albums, clothes, furniture, computers, files, books, art and a lifetime of personal history, but we can help her get back on her feet to start over. Laura is very deserving of our help.

A bit about me, my name is Lucas Deming and I’m one of Laura’s former roommates. I moved to Ventura to go to school in 2005 and now I work for LinkedIn Learning in Carpinteria. Because of her warning, I saved my computer, hard drives, cameras and basic identity documents. As a photographer, that’s my livelihood. Essentially, I owe everything I have to Laura. I'm staying with friends and coworkers in Ventura until I find a new place to live.

The funds raised from this campaign will go directly to Laura to help secure a new place to live and replace items lost in the fire.

  • GoFundMe.Org  
    • $375 
    • 22 mos
  • Catherine Gamon 
    • $500 
    • 42 mos
  • Lori Dearman 
    • $25 
    • 46 mos
  • Monique Navarro 
    • $50 
    • 48 mos
  • Gary Smith 
    • $500 
    • 48 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Lucas Deming 
Ventura, CA
Laura Shaskey 
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