“It was months after the fire that his colleagues began to see an increase in psychiatric crises, he said.” — Tony Hobson, director of behavioral health in Plumas County
Personal note from Founder, Alden:
October 9th marks 2 years since my Dad lost his home to the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa, CA where 8,900 other homes in surrounding fires were destroyed and 44 people lost their lives. These fires have become known as The Northern California Firestorm which was then recorded as the most destructive wildfire in California History.As you may recall, California Wildfire destruction continued in the following months and year after:
- Thomas Fire — December of 2017 // Burning over 307,900 acres, destroying more than 1,300 structures and killing 2 people
- Carr and Mendocino Complex Fire — July + August of 2018 // Burning over 459,000 acres + destroying 280 structures (currently California’s largest Wildfire)
- Camp Fire — November of 2018 // Burning over 153,000 acres, destroying more than 18,000 structures and killing 85 people — (CA’s deadliest most destructive wildfire and is high on the list of the world’s deadliest wildfires)
- Woolsey Fire — November of 2018 // Burning over 96,900 acres, destroying more than 1,600 structures and killing 3 people
— the majority of fires left thousands of people under-insured and forced to sell their burnt property for minimal value and/or homeless sleeping in their cars, campers, and on the streets.
Out of those who were lucky enough to have an ample amount of funds to rebuild, many are still being haunted by the trauma and are still trying to process their extreme loss.
I will forever say thank you to everyone who bought a Phoenix Tee or Sweatshirt during the last two rounds, as your efforts rapidly flourished into a strong and impactful fundraiser, gathering $50,000 in donations.
WHY CONTRIBUTION IS STILL NECESSARY AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO BE AWARE OF THE AFTER AFFECTS THAT ARE STILL GOING ON:
Thousands of people and families continue to suffer from the damage of these fires every day and unfortunately many will live with some form of traumatic repercussion for the rest of their lives.
Here is a short documentary revealing the true after affects of a Wildfire Disaster that many are currently dealing with.
Mental Health is one of the biggest side affects that is sneaking up on thousands — it doesn’t always show itself in ways that one may think and can even take months or years to reveal.
As mentioned in Washington Post's article, many describe sudden outbursts of anger and say their memories play tricks with them. Asked where they used to live in Paradise, several found they could not remember their old addresses.
Those delayed reactions do not surprise Tony Hobson, director of behavioral health in Plumas County, where therapists and counselors have been working with evacuees. It was months after the fire that his colleagues in Butte County began to see an increase in psychiatric crises, he said.
“You’re in shock at first. Then, when the smoke clears you are at a loss,”
“I wake up each day wanting to go home,” Gallaher said. “But there is no home to go to.” — washington post article
DONATIONS WERE DISTRIBUTED TO THE FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS THAT I PERSONALLY RESEARCHED AND VERIFIED AS AUTHENTIC, GENUINE 501C3 NON-PROFITS.
Here are the recovery updates they recently gave me:
>> North Valley Community Foundation has gone above and beyond to give back in necessary areas of destruction including a $70,000 donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of the North Valley. The funds continue to contribute to child care services, gift cards, and extended hours for a case manager to connect with families and help figure out how they will fill their gas tank, pay bills, find stable housing or purchase new clothes for seasonal changes.
NVCF also contributed to the Phoenix Club Campaign which has made a huge difference in the Chico community and out of 500 displaced members, 481 were provided with care, services and gift cards.
Within the Phoenix Club Campaign, NVCF contributed $22,500 to an art therapy Program for kids ran by Jess Mercer (article here).
>> Direct Relief has made outstanding contributions in medical aid by responding to wildfires and providing medicine, N-95 masks, and many other resources to healthcare agencies and first responders. Details on more medical aid here.
Direct Relief is also doing something that I feel is one of the most important efforts — mapping out vulnerable communities in California as we head into the next wildfire season. Learn more about Social vulnerability and see the map of communities at risk here.
They also recently helped a group of former Feather River Hospital workers and other healthcare workers establish a free mobile clinic for serving area residents. “The health workers, who have been providing care as volunteers since the second day of the Camp Fire, have formed the nonprofit Medspire Health to bring healthcare services to Magalia and surrounding areas. In addition to hosting on-site clinics, they’re looking to acquire and equip a mobile clinic to expand their services.” More info on those efforts here.
>> Burton's Pride helped incident commanders for animal rescues in Northern and Southern CA areas and managed collecting funds and supplies in support of first response rescue efforts. 100% of donations provided necessary cash to the front line volunteers who needed fuel for the vehicles, animal feed, water, veterinary care and much more.
>> California Community Foundation donated a total of 5 million to a plethora of verified organizations that provide relief in areas such as:
- North Valley Community Foundation which serves as recovery hubs for housing, wellness, education, economic recovery.
- 3CORE which provides small business loans and economic recovery.
- Ventura Country Community Foundation which supports long-term housing, legal services, education, healthcare and other needs for undocumented immigrant + refugee families who have been affected.
- Los Angeles Regional Food Bank which provides food to individuals + families impacted by the Woolsey Fire.
- and many more noted here.
Stay updated with their Wildfire Relief Fund’s impact HERE.
HOW CAN YOU CONTINUE TO HELP?
>> Preorder a Phoenix Tee here
>> or donate directly to any of the mentioned nonprofits that we have verified and found meet the criteria of an authentic and impactful organization.
I’M EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE SOUL SHAPERS WILL NOW ALSO BE DONATING TO:
- Health Care Foundation who have created a plethora of free resources for those who are experiencing mental health repercussions from the fire including an app to help utilize these tools. See more here.