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Rising From the Ashes, Bill & Vicky

$10,000 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 75 people in 16 months
Created October 15, 2017
On Monday, October 9th, a raging firestorm devastated the area of Sonoma County, California. As the wind-whipped fire raged around them and embers rained down, Bill Collins and Vicky McKay were awakened by a neighbor and had minutes to escape with their lives.
The fire destroyed their home. They lost everything! (The photo above, is what remains of their home.)
Many friends and loved ones have asked how they could help. Your contribution would help them get through this crisis. 
Thanks for your support and loving concern.
Submitted by Shawn Beal (Vicky's sister), Edgewater, MD
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And to be continued....
It's a photo of Gecko Sister's stepping stone and melted metal, including copper pot from Los Dias de los Muertos in Mexico. Temp of the fire was 2000 °F!!
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Next photo in the series
Combination of Bill's bronze work and Japanese sculpture found in the rubble of our home
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Sifting through the ashes we've made a collective memorial ranging from Bill's tools and his bronze sculptures to my Gecko Sister's mosaic stepping stone.
some of Bill's tools sifted from the ashes of the fire
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A huge thank you to friends and loved ones for their expression of love and support to my sister Vicky and my brother-in-law Bill, after their devastating loss in the Sonoma area fire, last week.
Here is an update from Bill and Vicky:

One day at a time - post-evacuation update.
Still living like lucky refugees. Oddly looking forward to the day the Office of Emergency Services issues a provisional re-entry order so residents can go visit their former homes to grieve and begin letting go as we visualize future sun-rises.

Meanwhile our days are busy trying to navigate the unfamiliar processes of insurance companies, FEMA, and local government services while continuing to be amazed at the incredible compassion and generosity of family, friends, and strangers.

After a refreshing rain last night, skies are clear of the amber haze forcing us to wear protective masks against the airborne toxins permeating our community. Truly a nasty side effect of this urban wild fire. More good news is the Santa Rosa fires are estimated to be 86% contained.

Everywhere we go we meet the most wonderful people. Many spontaneous conversations often begin with an acknowledgement of how deeply people are feeling connected to each other regardless of the extent of our loss or near loss. One couple we met yesterday related how they went down to the Emergency Operations Center at the fairgrounds to thank the fire fighters who worked tirelessly for many long hours creating fire breaks between their neighborhood and the fire, saving their entire sub-division from destruction. They found that crew who, on their day off from the front lines, chose to serve meals to displaced residents in an emergency evacuation shelter. That crew was from Eugene Oregon and they posted a picture on the public Facebook page called Santa Rosa Fire Storm Update. Look for posts by Iain Penny.

In a similar story, we are personally grateful to my niece who came down from Salem Oregon with her firefighting crew and battled the blazes in Napa County for many days. We already knew how awesome she is but now she’s headed toward a whole new level of incredible woman power.

We are exceptionally humbled and touched by each of your contributions to our individual plight by donating to this campaign. The most valuable element that is emerging from this tragic event is the deep connection we are all making with each other through this innate quality within all of us. Although this quality may be an un-named and possibly rare or esoteric feeling for many, it’s presence and power is clear to this entire community in this moment. This includes anyone who simply pauses to feel or express their sadness for this situation.

This ability to experience a deep connection to others is the fundamental building block of strong communities. To us the actions each of you have taken, by simply reaching out to us or donating money and resources, is an act of community building. We recognize that supporting us is an indirect expression of support for our larger community. You help us get stronger so we can continue to be vital members of our society.

Because we feel very fortunate to have such amazing friends, we have decided to help make the connection between you and our local community a little stronger. We feel like we need to share your generosity by re-gifting 20% of whatever we receive from you back into the local area. Our goal is to perpetuate and nurture this experience of a connected society by selecting 2 or 3 local organizations that will in turn extend your good will toward us into a broader benefit to the community. This is absolutely our way of recognizing that this tragedy is not about us alone and that we are much stronger as a community that supports each other rather than an aggregation of individuals interested in self-preservation. We believe that sharing the generosity of our friends in this manner will magnify the benefit we all receive.

We love each of you and thank you with a very deep bow for your compassionate support.

Bill and Vicky

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$10,000 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 75 people in 16 months
Created October 15, 2017
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