Support Eric after devastating fire

Eric Burke is one of the finest human beings and artists I know.  Without exaggeration, he has one of the most pure, kind-hearted spirits of anyone I've ever met.  He is a man of unwavering integrity, he is a committed and loyal friend, brother and son, and he is a talented artist who has sacrificed immensely in order to pursue his dream.  He is one of my best friends and he is like a big brother to me.

Sonoma County has been devastated by tragic fires over the past several days. I had to evacuate my home in the middle of the night, as did thousands upon thousands of other residents. Eric lives just up the hill from me, and his house was in the direct path of one of the fires. 

The police woke Eric and his brother up in the middle of the night, and told them they had 5 minutes to get out of the house. He grabbed his phone, his wallet, a toothbrush and a notebook I gave him to write notes for a one-man show he has been creating. These are now his only possessions.  

There are no words to describe how heartbroken I am for Eric.  He would never, EVER ask for help. In fact, he'd be the first to offer it even if he didn't have it to give. Eric needs clothes, food, basic necessities and a new home.  

If you are a friend, family member or student of mine, I know you would help me if I needed it (and so many of you already have!!!).  By the grace of God, my home is still standing. But Eric lost everything and he is family to me, so I am asking for you to please consider donating to help my dear brother get back on his feet after this horrible, life-altering tragedy.  

Jim and I spoke to Eric this morning, and in classic Eric style, he said, "So many people are a lot worse off than I am. I'm alive and my family is alive and that's all that matters. And I got your notebook, Melissa!"  God bless you, my friend. You inspire me, and we are going to get you back on your feet in no time.  We love you.  I love you.

(*Eric has requested that I handle the withdrawal of any donations since he does not have a computer and he and Brad have so many things to deal with as they wrap their heads and hearts around the reality of what they've lost. So I will be withdrawing the funds from this campaign and I will give Eric all of the money immediately after withdrawing.)

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Melissa Thompson Esaia 
Santa Rosa, CA
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