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Paradise Herndon Family Fund

$4,525 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 42 people in 5 months
We moved to Paradise in 1978 and my sister and I were raised in this community. Julia stayed, married, raised a beautiful family.  As long as I can remember, my sister and brother in law have opened their doors to those in need. It never mattered the circumstances, if you needed a place to land and get a meal, a bed, a hug, the Herndon Home was where you knew you were always welcome. Their 5 children and all of their friends were raised knowing that Herndon home meant safety, security, laughter, comfort, and love.  They have always gone above and beyond to help anyone in need with money, food, shelter, emotional support. 

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On the morning of November 8th, my family had to flee their homes carrying only what they could fit in the car. The Camp Fire, fueled by extreme winds and plenty of fuel, tore through my home town of Paradise and left destruction behind in the magnitude that is yet to be really understood. My Nephew Jed and his partner Melissa had to run as flames were in their front yard. Julia, David, Elizabeth, Gabriell and Estefania had to grab what they could and drive to safety.  Their homes are gone.

My parents, John & Tina Gardner, sold their home in So Cal and moved everything up to Paradise on 11/1/18 to start a new life close to Julia and "the kids".  Tina and their roommate Anna had to evacuate by a northern route and leave the home they had just started to unpack a week earlier.  Their home and all of their possessions are gone.

Thankfully, everyone is safe and healthy. Many were not so fortunate and, even in this crisis, my sister is helping those who have lost so much more than she has because that is how she rolls.34433660_1541983047943556_r.jpeg34433660_1541983059760391_r.jpeg34433660_154198391083304_r.jpeg

I have started this Go Fund Me page because all three homes have been lost to the devastation of the Camp Fire. Julia, David, Jed, and Gabriell are all self-employed business owners in Paradise and Chico (Ponderosa Pest & Weed, Gabriella's Eatery, Chico Fence, Hand 2 Heal Massage) and have contributed to the health, welfare, entertainment, and comfort of so many in the communities of Paradise and Chico and they now need to receive the blessings in return.  

All monies raised by this campaign will go to helping all of them with any living expenses, clothing, furniture, food, etc. You get the idea, they all have nothing left. They have touched so many of you in different ways and I am asking you, if you can, to help them rebuild their lives.  Thank you.
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Hello Friends and family,
I apologize for the delay in getting another update out to all of you. First, I want to thank all of you for your continued love and support. Many of you have reached out to ask how things are going and to please continue to give updates, I so appreciate that my family continues to be on your minds and in your hearts.
This update is a bit long, but there is much to share! The hard work has just begun for all of them and I would ask that you please continue to SHARE this page with those who might feel compelled to help the Herndons. There is a long road ahead as they work to find homes, rebuild their lives, and grow Hands to Heal Massage, Ponderosa Pest & Weed, Gabriella’s, and Chico Rent A Fence.

My sister and brother-in-law, Julia and David, came down a few weeks ago to see us and we all went out to see our parents. It was such a blessing to be able to hold them tightly and share some tears. It is the first time we have seen each other since the fire and the first time they have been able to see our parents as well. They are currently living in an RV on a friend’s property in Butte Creek Canyon. It is a beautiful property near Butte Creek and they have a hot-tub available to them just steps from their front door! It has been stressful over the last few months having to move 3 times, but at least we can laugh at the fact that they don’t have much to move. Humor is what gets us all through the tears some days.

I won’t sugar – coat it, times are rough for them. David lost around 80% of his income because most of his clients had property he was servicing in Paradise and Magalia. Julia is working harder than ever to keep the money coming in to cover their expenses. David has been working hard helping Jed and Gabriell keep up with the increase in business with their fence company in Chico while he tries to grow his business more in the Valley. The money donated through this site has been used to help supplement their income a bit over the last few months. Thank you!!

My dad and step-mom are slowly rebuilding their lives in Menifee, CA. They have received a generous donation from Time-Warner that helped to replace a few of their beloved movie collection. Thank you, Time-Warner!! I also am sending a shout-out Thank You to Jerome’s Furniture. Tina worked for many years for Jerome’s and the company executives were very generous in helping them purchase all new furniture. Tina had major surgery in January and we all are so thankful that she has a cozy home and bed to heal and recover.

Jed and Melissa have moved in with Melissa’s brother in Magalia. His house was one of a very few in that neighborhood left fairly untouched by the fire. Jed is working long hours to keep up with the fence company customer demands, the biggest issue is that they do not have enough fencing! They are looking to secure a grant or a loan to be able to buy more fence and meet the needs in both Paradise and Chico. They hope to grow the company a lot this year if they can get some funding to help. The money donated through this site has been used to purchase tools for the Fence Company that were lost in the fire.

Gabriell and Estephania are still in their travel trailer. They are looking forward to a possible opportunity to move in with a roommate in Chico. The sandwich shop, Gabriella’s, was not damaged by the fire but they will not be able to re-open due to part of the building being condemned. The girls are actively exploring the idea of turning Gabriella’s into a Food Truck! The Town of Paradise passed a temporary ban on outside food/restaurants coming in to exploit the needs of residents. If you had a business established before the fire than you can either work to rebuild or do something like start a food truck! It seems like a great opportunity to catch the popular wave of food trucks everywhere so keep your fingers crossed as they look for investors and a possible grant/loan to get them started. https://www.gofundme.com/food-trailer-for-paradise-gabriellas-eatery

Elizabeth graduated high-school in December with a report card showing off all A’s! She will be living with her older sister and brother-in-law, Leighanne and Daniel Williams, in Chico for the foreseeable future. She continues to work hard perfecting her passion, skating (@chico_royal_court), and is enjoying some much deserved time off while she figures out what the next steps are.

I will continue to post updates and I am passing on the many heartfelt thanks from my family to all of you. The love and support you have extended has been truly amazing and we all feel so very blessed.
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I wanted to update all of you regarding news from the last month. My parents have found a sweet little home in the community of Menifee thanks to their Realtor who worked tirelessly to help them get a roof over their heads. Jim and I spent Christmas with them and I can't tell you how thankful we are to have them settled.

My sister and brother-in-law, Julia and David, are staying in an Air BNB in Chico through the month of January.

My nephew and niece , Jed and Gabriell, are still staying in a travel trailer that is parked on friend's property. They are working hard to get the Fence business up and running at full capacity again. There are still many unknowns as far as being able to reopen Gabriella's .

My youngest niece, Elizabeth, is staying indefinitely with her older sister and her husband in Chico.

Again, we are all so thankful for your love and support during this really difficult time of recover, growth and transition.
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UPDATE: Everyone has a roof over their heads and a bed to sleep in. Thankful!
My nephew Jed was able to use some of the donated funds to put payment down on a travel trailer. He, his girlfriend Melissa, my niece Gabriell, and her partner Estefania are all sharing the space. They are parked on a friend's property in Chico and are able to stay for an extended period of time. Gabriell is actively looking for a trailer that she and Estefania can move in to on their own.
Julia and David are staying at a friend's house in Willows which is a rural community about 30 miles west of Chico on I-5. They are able to stay there for a while as they figure out what their next steps will be. My sister is still blessing others with her healing skills, offering her time and support for others in both emotional and physical need. She has more smiles and hugs than ever before.
My parents are staying in the home they sold in Corona while it is still in escrow. Thankfully they still have two twin beds, some kitchen items, and clothing that was not moved north on November 1st. They are able to stay until the new owners take control in early January. They are, again, diligently looking for a house they can afford in Nor Cal that is close to the family. Any leads on rentals between Lincoln and Vina would be very welcome!
Paradise is still closed and they are not able to go see their properties in person yet. I can only imagine how hard that is going to be when the time comes.
Your donated funds have helped them start to move forward with rebuilding their lives after losing everything. Insurance monies will eventually start coming in but these monies donated will help right now in supplementing lost income (all of the Herndons are self-employed), finding warm clothes for the coming winter months, and covering the every day expenses that are a part of life.
We thank all of you and are so very grateful, again, to have everyone safe and warm.
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I am in awe at the outpouring of love being shown to this beloved family! Thank you! To those who have donated, sent supportive messages, and kept them in your prayers, you are appreciated beyond words! An extra special thank you to those who don't even know the family, but felt the tug at your heartstrings to donate...amazing!

These photos show the remains of two out of the three Herndon/Gardner houses that were decimated. Everyone is safe, clothed, fed, and sheltered...yet the uncertainty of their future housing remains. Finding replacement rentals will be a challenge, and additional funds will be needed to get into those rentals--first, last & deposit on three places will add up! If you haven't already done so, please consider participating in the rebuilding of their lives. They will rise from the ashes with our collective help! Thank you!
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$4,525 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 42 people in 5 months
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