A 5-minute, 15-minute and 1-hour checklist of essential items in case of an evacuation, compiled by victims of the Valley Fire. Essential and 100% free download in PDF format. Print this up now so you and your family are prepared in the case of an emergency. This list is comprised of things we wish we’d done. Learn from us. Please.
I have to admit that before the fire I was starting to lose a little faith in humanity. The way my community banded together and the outpouring of love and support we received from all over the world changed that, though. I’ve been completely amazed at how resilient humans can be. This week the area has experienced another wave of fires, and the next town over (Lower Lake, Clayton Fire) has been devastated. Although many of us are still experiencing bouts of PTSD, depression and panic, we have gotten together to share what we’ve learned and to help others.
It was imperative that we did, because the organizations we thought would help us didn’t. Not really. There was a lot of paperwork, and a lot of promises, but the help we received was more about the acquisition of goods, not counselling or support. One organization stood out.
I was at Sierra Hot Springs shortly after the fire when I got a phone call from a sweet lady who asked if I would be in town later that week. The lady was representing a charity organization called Tzu Chi. The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation travels the world helping out in disasters, and unlike other organizations that were supposed to help us, Tzu Chi seemed to care about our humanity. They offered us aid, but more importantly, they gave us a hug. They listened. And then they came back. A couple months after the fire, they took over a local church and provided meals for us, free dental care and a pretty amazing inspirational service. I’ve since researched them and not only do they provide aid after disasters, but they also provide tuition, tutors, emotional support, assistance with building houses and shelters and more. They are international and help with so many massive, devastating disasters that our “small” disaster didn’t even make their ‘2015 In Review’ video. That really put everything into perspective and has honestly made it easier to heal and move on. Here’s video that was shot of our town.
Tzu Chi did not have to help us, and that’s what made their visits to our town so special. The way that they’re able to help is through collecting people’s small change from all over the world. If you’re so inclined, please start collecting pennies and nickels. You can order a collection jar of your very own and send it back to them when it’s full. Click here for more information.