Returning Lost Loved Ones

Fourteen thousand homes have burned to the ground in the recent California fires.  Most of the residents have nothing left.  We need your help to give them back something precious they lost!

Many families keep the cremated remains (cremains) of their loved ones in their home. It might be temporary, until they go to a final resting place. Or it might be more permanent, as some people find comfort in having them nearby. As the victims of the fires ran for their lives, many did not have time to take the cremains. An all volunteer team of specially-trained canines and archaeologists needs your help to respond and locate / recover the cremains of these loved ones.

Lenore Hanson lost her daughter, Erin, to cancer less than year before the Santa Rosa Fire destroyed her home, taking her daughter's ashes with it. Even though Lenore lost all her possessions, she grieved most for the loss of her daughter's cremains. Lenore told us, “Just the thought of her ashes winding up in a toxic waste dump was more than I could handle.” She is pictured above hugging a team member as we confirmed Erin's cremains were found.

Pam & Nick Rasmussen also lost their family home in the Santa Rosa Fire, along with the cremains of their father and young brother. They are pictured above holding both sets of cremains alongside part of the team that located and recovered them. “Amazing. In a matter of seconds Piper closed a wound that no one else could.”

This service is offered free to the fire victims. Our team members do this on a volunteer basis; your donation will help to defer their costs. Basic expenses (travel, food, and shelter) to search 100 homes for cremains are estimated to exceed $29,000 (and we expect to get many more than 100 requests.) Any unused donations will be reserved for future volunteer responses.  ICF is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization; you will receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation.

The Team:
Institute for Canine Forensics  (ICF)
Alta Archaeological Consulting - Professional Archaeologist  (ALTA)
Environmental Science Associates  (ESA) 

News from previous fire responses:
       Forensic Search Dogs Sniff Out Human Ashes In Wildfire Wreckage
       Ashes to Ashes 
      Searching for Ashes Within Ashes -- Dog Teams Hunt for Human Cremains in Wildfire Wreckage 
National Geographic    
        How sniffer dogs find cremated human remains after wildfires
Redding Record Searchlight
       Searching and finding human cremains in ashes of the Carr Fire

Fundraising team: ICF / ALTA / ESA (5)

Lisa Lee 
Raised $6,804 from 72 donations
Redwood City, CA
Institute for Canine Forensics 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
Lynne Engelbert 
Team member
Raised $5,170 from 35 donations
Adela Morris 
Team member
Raised $1,715 from 16 donations
Dana Timbrook 
Team member
Raised $1,275 from 5 donations
Barbara Pence 
Team member
Raised $200 from 2 donations

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