Mulford relocation fund

$12,860 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 170 people in 1 month
Created November 9, 2018
Mulford/Wells friends and family
on behalf of Aja Mulford
Hey folks. Our good friends Aja and Ryan lost their house in the fires in Paradise, CA. We are starting up this fund to help them get through the rough patch of relocating and purchase new clothes and  household items and whatever else they will need until they can get settled in. Anything is appreciated. If you are not in a place to help, you can share this post and give it a signal boost.

GoFundMe asked to put the following info so Ryan and Aja can quickly access their funds. I am Devon Devereaux, an old friend from Portland. I currently live in San Diego. Kate Nishi Lyons and I put this campaign together on behalf of the Mulfords so they can quickly get back on their feet after losing almost all of their belongings. All money raised will go directly to Ryan and Aja to regroup, secure housing, replace clothing, household items, etc. A small percentage of each transaction (2.9%) goes to the Gofundme platform. 
Devon Devereaux
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This is Aja again...

It's been a little over two weeks since everything happened. We still have no idea when they will allow us back into town to look at the damage. Not only are search and rescue teams still recovering bodies, but officials estimated that there is over 100 miles of road that still need to be cleared of downed powerlines to make the town bare-minimum accessible. We spoke to an EPA official who said that they also need to basically clean and dispose of all the hazardous waste and soil in the town, a task they estimate to take 4-9 months "the first time", then a second sweep must occur. For those who hope to return to living in the town, it is expected to not be livable for a minimum of 16 months, as all systems (power, water, septic etc) must also be completely replaced. We however, have no desire to try to return to the town. After living though what we did, and watching everything we knew be destroyed, all I want to do is look, maybe sift around the soil a bit, and then never come back.

Thankfully, CalFire has been great about providing drone images and photos of the town so it helps to quell our curiosity. The photo is my house from drone footage. As you can see, our neighbor's house looks perfect, not a hint of damage, and then the rest of the neighborhood is toast. If I zoom out a bit, directly behind my house stands a lush field of green grass and an untouched building directly next to a blackened, bombed out lot. Surreal.

I want to say again how thankful I am for everyone who has donated. I do not know what we would do without your support. FEMA has been incredibly ineffectual, and with no renters insurance, we would have had zero safety net or means to begin rebuilding our life. So thank you so much for helping us. With your help I was able to buy a computer so I could return to work (I work remote and am responsible for my own equipment) and we have been able to get our essentials like clothing and medicine again. There are currently NO places for rent in Chico and price gouging is rampant. We looked into buying a house but all homes were going for all cash offers. We need to stay living here for my husbands job (for now) so we will continue to live in the trailer on a lot and save money to eventually be able to take the next step in life, whatever that may be.

Thank you for everything again. More updates to come.
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We have been absolutely floored with your kindness and generosity. Because of you, we know we are going to be okay.

Attached is a photo of our new home! Because of extreme housing conditions, we are going to probably live here for a year or longer. We are currently clearing a space for it to be parked behind my uncle's house. It is pretty small, but I've decided to start looking at pinterest ideas for fixing up a trailer, and maybe once things settle down I can paint the inside and make it into a cute little spot.

I can't believe it has both "only been" and "already been" a week since everything happened. As I type this, one week ago I was fleeing the fire in pitch darkness. Grief comes and goes in waves, but we are also excited to start a new chapter of our lives where we only spend money on essential, meaningful items, and try to get a little more clarity of what is important in life.

Thank you all again for everything. We love and appreciate it so much.
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We got a higher res photo of our home, though we still have not been able to see it ourselves. I can see my rocking chair in the back yard! Also, the whole back fence used to be covered in ivy and berry bushes, yet bizarrely, I can still see our neighbor's blue tarp hanging, practically unscathed. Both our neighbors behind and next to us have houses standing. This wildlife truly had a life and mind of it's own!
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Hey everyone, this is Aja writing here to give you an update and to extend my deepest thanks. Because of all of these donations, we are now in a place where there is SIGNIFICANTLY less stress surrounding our relocation and living needs.

I want to write here a bit about what happened on that morning.

I started work as usual from my home at 6am, and by 7, I realized it was very smokey outside. It was so smokey in fact, that it had started raining ash. This might sound like an obvious red flag to get out immediately, but living in a town that is typically surrounded by forest fires, I have been in that situation at least a half dozen times. The news said the fire was 25 miles away and only 10 acres, so I figured the wind was just exaggerating the effects.

At 8am Ryan left for work after a bit of debate, and Hudson went to my mom's as usual so that I could continue my work day without distraction. By 8:15 Ryan called me and sent me a photo of the smoke when he pulled over half way home, and he said he was going to come home and get me. At 8:30 I went outside and the sky had suddenly turned black, and I could hear explosions from propane tanks randomly exploding. Suddenly terrified, I threw all three dogs in my van, called my husband and told him to not even try to come home, and called my mother and told her to pack up everything and I was coming to get Hudson now. My mother lived only a 2 minute drive from my house but it took me 20 minutes to get to her house (walking there would have been faster) and when I arrived I put the car in park, grabbed him and told my parents LEAVE NOW! and then sped off as fast as I could. I then sat in complete darkness and gridlock, with the only light coming from behind me in the form of a bright red glow, and people panicking driving up on yards and on the wrong side of the road yelling that the fire was right behind us. I literally thought we might die in the car, and on top of that my van was almost empty on gas so I just kept staring at the needle and meditating on the thought that as soon as I got on the skyway (the main road out of town) that we would be safe. It turns out I was right, but just a half hour after I escaped the Skyway was engulfed inflames.

Overall, it took me 3 hours to travel 13 miles to the next safe town. While I sat in gridlock traffic I started getting texts letting me know that certain business were on fire and people saw their houses bursting into flames. It seemed impossible how fast it all happened. When I was 4 blocks from the Safeway shopping center I got a call from my husband who said that he heard that Safeway was on fire and people were just abandoning their cars and running. While I was in the middle of chaos, he was absolutely worried sick as he could not get back in town and just had to wait for me to make it to him. I had never been so happy to see him in my life.

Today, we are going to look at a trailer that will be home for the next several months while we decide where we want to live and regroup a bit. Everyone's mind is in a fog and it is going to take time to process. All I can say is that I am thankful we all survived and the generosity you have all shown me will forever be the most touching and incredibly gift of my life.

More updates to come,
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$12,860 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 170 people in 1 month
Created November 9, 2018
Mulford/Wells friends and family
on behalf of Aja Mulford
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