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Get the Phippses Back on Their Feet

$17,371 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 144 people in 4 months
Created November 9, 2018
Megan Scott
on behalf of Cari Stewart Phipps
Anyone who knows the Phippses will tell you that they are one incredible, kind and strong family. Vince works two jobs and is a cross country and track coach and avid volunteer in the local high school track program. Cari works at C.S.U. Chico as a Degree Audit Analysis Supervisor and is nearly finished attaining her masters degree. One of the strongest women I know, Cari survived advanced breast cancer and is currently in the midst of working to kick breast cancer’s butt for the second time. Emmi is in first grade and is passionate about animals.

On November 8th when the Camp Fire happened Vince was getting his runners to a state semi-final meet. He spent hours helping to evacuate his group of runners . When Vince and Cari finally got the chance to make their way to their Butte Creek Canyon home they discovered that the road was closed. They were not permitted to go back to their house to gather any belongings or check on their beloved animals. The next day the Phippses, unfortunately, learned that they had lost their home to the fire. Heartwrenchingly they do not know what the fate of their animals is (they have two dogs, three goats and chickens). They are currently staying in a family member’s fifth wheel trailer.

So here’s the deal; the Phippses always get back up when they’ve been knocked down, and they will most certainly survive this and thrive again. But some help would really get them back on their feet more quickly. $5, $20, etc., whatever amount you are able to give would absolutely mean the world to them. Thankfully the three of them are safe, but they were not able to salvage anything from their home (they literally have the shirts on their backs), and they’ll be starting over from scratch. Let’s reach out a hand to help lift up and send love and support to this wonderful family.

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Gratitude, Grace, Giving, Grieving, Grateful, Gleeful. All these words express our feelings and our lives right now. We are really doing well.
It’s been a while since my last update. Life is starting to begin again. The town is bursting at the seams with all the extra occupants, yet work, school and life must continue. We are in our new normal. Settling well, but still settling. We have moved into a slightly larger fifth wheel (who knew 3 feet could make such a difference). We have ordered a bed that will be perfect for Emmi and will fit perfectly in those extra 3 feet. This will allow us to keep the table up for meals and not have a giant bed in the middle of the RV sticking out. I will make a video tour of the new place very soon.
Emmi returned to school this past week. Despite her heart has been broken so many times with the loss of the house, her stuff, our goats and the dogs, she still manages to make us smile, laugh, sing and have tickle parties every day. She is so resilient. Vince and I went to her parent/teacher conference where her praises we sung again. She is an excellent friend at school, model citizen in the classroom and an excellent student.
Vince finished his Cross Country season with two boys competing at State finals in Clovis. Emmi and I joined him on the trip and had a great little family get-away. His Track season begins pre-season practices next week. No room for breathing in his schedule!
I am down to my last 3 weeks of my MBA program. 2 projects to finish and one paper and I will have my Master’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in project management. Little did I know when I began my degree that I would be preparing for the biggest project of my life: clean-up and rebuilding our home!
Which brings me to where we are right now. The Environmental Health Services group is out testing for and disposing of hazardous/toxic waste and debris. After this is completed, the county and state will come through to clean up the remainder of the ash and debris. There will be a final testing of the soil to make sure there are no toxins there and at that point we will hopefully be ready to move the fifth wheel up there to begin the build/rebuild project!
In the meantime, we are ALL having fun imaging our dream home! Some of us want 4 stories with a basement AND an elevator… Guess who that would be!
Christmas in our fifth wheel this year will be full of love and fun. Vince and I are hoping to offer Emmi a Christmas full of experiences rather than things. I think this is a good model in general, but for this year especially, it is necessary. We’ve started with tickets to see Hello Dolly, Live, here in Chico (her first favorite musical, she has been watching it since she was 2 years old!). If you have experienced any great experiences that you think we might enjoy experiencing, why, feel free to share your experiences with us! Hahaha, In other words, any ideas and thoughts are greatly appreciated!
For now I will end with a video I took on our property the day we got to go up. It’s about 11 minutes long so do not feel obligated to watch it!
From the depths of the Phipps family hearts, thank you. We are so grateful to have such a loving, generous village around us. We hope your Holiday is filled with love, peace, joy and all the things that make us humans in God’s kingdom. God Bless
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Dear friends and family,

Fatigue. Exhaustion. Weariness.
These words only begin to describe where we are. We have just barely begun to see the depth and breadth of the devastation that we are living. We have so many friends who have lost as much as we have and more. We have several friends who are in a state of, what I call purgatory, who have a home but can’t get help from insurance because they are in a unique category. The frustration, heartbreak, anger, sadness, desperation, and just overall devastation is more than we can carry in our hearts and heads.
Vince and I spent a full day, 7 hours, Friday at the Emergency resources fair. What an amazing operation. Showing both organization and disorganization. There were close to 30 booths that took our information, our stories and a list of our needs and wants in order to place us in categories of needs based assessments. Telling our story that many times is disheartening yet therapeutic, and heart-wrenching yet heartwarming. The volunteers and workers were genuinely caring, loving, concerned and willing to do whatever it takes to make us whole. We had tears of joy, sadness, and laughter today.
At the end of the day, our names, phone numbers, and emails are on every list that can be thought of! Heaven help my spam folder!
When we got home, we were greeted with a much needed healthy meal full of love from Mom, Dad and Emmi. Angels in all of this!
Vince returned to work on Monday, worked Monday, Tuesday and, Wednesday but was sent home Thursday and Friday due to extremely poor air quality.
Emmi has returned from her days at the ranch where she spent time bottle feeding a calf, riding horses and getting loved on by many family members who we don’t see as often as we should.
Mom helped me spend a day organizing our new home, a 27 ft fifth wheel that we are so lucky to be able to use. I tried on clothes that had been donated to me and now have basically a wardrobe for work and comfy clothes for the weekends.
We are feeling much more settled, now, and are ready to get back to our normal… actually I should say our “new” normal routine.
The day prior to the organizing day, I woke up and just didn’t feel good. There could have been a million reasons why, but I just couldn’t push past it. At about dinner time, I figured out my problem… A UTI! Yep, on top of it all, I was in miserable pain and trying to figure out what to do. Thanks to Teledoc and CVS, the next morning I woke up feeling worlds better. Nothing like being miserable on top of being miserable.
I have attached some photos of things we’ve done recently including our time in the lines of the resources fair, and a photo of Emmi’s bed that we were able to create to give her something fun to come home to.
Thank you all for your love. We are just beginning to see the enormity of this tragedy and your generosity has made our situation better. We have every intention of paying this forward. We make it our mission to show up at every event, fair, help booth, telephone call and meeting with smiles on our faces, understanding and patience in our hearts and, love in our eyes. We are able to do this BECAUSE OF YOU! Thank you, we are so blessed.

-Cari Phipps
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Dear friends and family,
We are so beyond humbled and grateful. You all have been giving so much to our family for the last 5 years and yet, you have found ways to give even more.
We have confirmed that we have lost our home, our goats, and we are fearful that we have lost our dogs. The chickens survived and remain resilient. We have friends who have been able to check on them as they are doing their hero work on our road. They have water at the moment and in the next day or two should have food. In the meantime, they are good scavengers.
We are now living in my parent’s extra 5th wheel (they are full-time RV-ers). We are thankful for a comfortable place to be every night. We are looking at a long-term camping adventure! I can’t lie, it sounds fun. Wel, ok, we’ve only been here for 3 nights but check back in a month! LOL!
Emmi and Grandmother are in the foothills just outside of Sacramento for a few days. We were trying to get them out of the smoke, but just like a true #campfire, it followed us! You know what I’m talking about!
We have spoken with our insurance already, they called us! That’s service! Things are in motion. In the immediate days we will be assessing what our next steps are, figuring out what we need to make ourselves whole, and thanks to you all, doing things that will help us be comfortable and as close to whole as possible for our current conditions.
I imagine there are things we haven’t even felt a loss of yet but we were able to get clothes, toiletries, undergarments and a few small comfort items for us and Emmi. We assume that there will be some large expenses coming soon with work on the property to clear out the ruble, get PG&E back, get water and get our new, temporary home up to our property when it’s ready. This is what we will use this money for.
Wow, we are so blessed.
Thank you!
Thank you. Your generosity is immeasurable. The amount of stress you have relieved is incalculable. We are able to breathe and not worry about where we will find the means to meet our needs.

-Cari Phipps
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More pictures from Cari’s update today
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$17,371 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 144 people in 4 months
Created November 9, 2018
Megan Scott
on behalf of Cari Stewart Phipps
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