To All California Lions,
The following email was received today from District Governor Sue Kerr. This is a need-to-share story of the overwhelming kindness and goodness of our Lions in financial giving and of the front line dedicated Lions volunteers in selfless service to the victims of our recent forest fires.
As a side note, we are told that the local Boy Scouts and The Salvation Army as partners in service are being directed to deposit their goods at the Lions Store in Chico where Lions are entrusted with the hands-on distribution to the needy.
Council Chair, Robert Stewart – California Lions
The Lions of District 4-C1 appreciate the support we have gotten from Lions all over the state of California and from across the Nation.
Our Camp Fire relief center opened on November 26th and of this date, have served over 1800 families that were victims of this terrible fire. We offer food, blankets, hygiene products, gift cards to purchase rakes, shovels, sifters and whatever else is needed as they go back into the fire area to save what they can. We also offer gas cards as well as cards for local stores to fill in any need that we cannot meet. Some of the victims are just now able to go back into the area to see what is left of their properties. Most will not be able to return for a very long time and some not at all. Unlike Santa Rosa, this entire town has literally been wiped out. The needs of this community will go on for many years.
We expect that the relief center will be open at least through January, 2019. Many of the victims were renting and cannot find a place to live, so are using their automobiles, trucks, RV’s and trailers to survive the best that they can. Many had no insurance so their need is great.
Almost all of the survivors of the Camp Fire have nothing left except whatever was on their backs as they ran from the flames. Most of the people coming into the relief center have nothing left but their family and friends. We listen to their stories and give hugs. Quite a few of the volunteers at the center also lost homes and/or jobs. The effect on the fire was not just loss of property, but also jobs are gone so incomes have been drastically reduced.
The fairground in Chico as well as the surrounding communities of Oroville, Gridley, Yuba City and Colusa are still housing refugees from the Camp Fire. Some have gone even further away all up and down the state as well as to other states outside of California.
Lions from Chico, Paradise, Gridley, Live Oak and all the other clubs nearby have pitched in with donations of money, goods and time. We have had volunteers from Redding, Willows, Sutter, Oroville, Auburn, Sacramento, Santa Rosa and many more that are Lions and non Lions. We are all doing our best to support the City of Paradise and the surrounding towns affected by the fire. We know they have a long road ahead to bring back businesses and rebuild their town. Lions are here to help until it is done.
Sue Kerr- District Governor 4-C1